With up to a million sanctions set to be inflicted on unemployed people this year, Boycott Workfare is joining the call for a week of action against Jobcentre Plus.
As the DWP enforces ever more draconian conditions for claiming unemployment benefits, Jobcentre staff are under huge pressure to sanction benefit claims. This is leading to an unbearable situation for claimants, with hundreds of thousands of people plunged into immediate destitution for increasingly petty breaches of Jobseeker’s Agreements.
Meanwhile Jobcentre workers are placed on Performance Improvements Plans – meaning their own job is threatened – should they not sanction enough claimants. Despite sanction league tables being leaked to The Guardian newspaper, DWP Ministers still dishonestly claim that there are no targets set for the number of claims sanctioned.
The leadership of the PCS, the union which represents most DWP staff, has repeatedly dithered about taking action against this regime which forces workers to bully and harass claimants or face joining them in the dole queue. Fortunately not all PCS members are so reluctant to fight for both their own working conditions and to put an end to the brutal treatment of people whose only crime is to be unemployed, sick or disabled.
The Civil Service Rank and File Network has called for a week of action against Jobcentre Plus beginning on August 5th and to include pickets, demonstrations and occupations of Jobcentres.
Boycott Workfare are joining the call to take action and help bring an end to sanctions, workfare and harassment of claimants. Picket and even occupy your local Jobcentre, or set up an info stall outside to inform claimants of their rights. For leaflets, including copies of the infographic pictured above contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The action taken by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty against Leith Jobcentre is a brilliant example of the kind of protest being advocated.