Jobcentre Plus week of action: 5-9 August

The Civil Service Rank & File Network is calling for action aimed at Jobcentre Plus in the week of the 5 August.

The government is trying to draw a dividing line between claimants and those in work as it attacks all of us. Nowhere is this more clear than at the Jobcentre, where low waged civil servants are expected to impose sanctions and enforce unpaid work schemes for unemployed people subsisting on benefits.

But the government’s dividing line is an artificial one, as evidenced by the extension of the sanctions regime to part time workers receiving in work benefits, including 40% of Jobcentre staff. Whether unemployed or in work, we are all working class and have shared interests in opposition to the government and the boss class. We need to stand and fight together – not against one another at the government’s behest.

That is why the CSRF Network has argued strongly for Jobcentre workers to resist imposing sanctions on claimants. We took this message to the conference of the PCS union and intend to push for and build this stance at the coal face, where it really matters.

At the same time, it is vital that claimants show their solidarity with workers wherever possible. We are also at the sharp end of the government’s attacks and pushing for a more effective and disruptive campaign of action in response – despite the apparent hesitation of PCS, who have scaled back their campaign to action short of strike during July and August whilst they “consult” over what to do in the autumn.

The fact is that we cannot afford to wait until autumn to continue fighting. We face a hostile government and a hostile employer who quite frankly aren’t concerned in the least by the occasional one day strike.

That is why the CSRF is calling for a week of action aimed at Jobcentres. This is only part of a broader effort to push for a more effective and sustained campaign strategy, but it is an important one. Here we have the potential to forge the links of a practical solidarity between workers and claimants – and also to cause disruption even when no strike has been called.

In the week commencing 5 August we encourage civil servants to work with claimants and others who oppose austerity in your area.

  • Hold workplace meetings to discuss the type of action needed to win.
  • Stage pickets outside of the Jobcentre to bring workers and claimants together in opposition to the government.
  • Occupy the Jobcentre and bring business to a halt for as long as you practically can.

The action taken by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty against Leith Jobcentre is a brilliant example of the kind of protest we are advocating.

Most importantly, we urge you to treat this action as just one element of a broader campaign. There will be more national days of action, but don’t just wait for them – do whatever you can where you are. We will not see significant movement or concessions from this government until we are continually and severely disrupting business as usual.

About csrfnetwork

A network for civil servants who want to resist the government's attacks on our terms and conditions. With PCS where they put up a fight, without them where they won't!
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22 Responses to Jobcentre Plus week of action: 5-9 August

  1. Pingback: Week Of Action Down the Jobcentre Starts August 5th | the void

  2. Lucozade says:

    Too little, too late. You were as quiet as mice and happily handing out sanctions left, right and centre when it didn’t affect you (and still are). Now you realise that up to 40% of your own colleagues will be in the same boat you start whining like the gutless, little girls you are. Even to the extent of expecting those you have sanctioned, and will sanction in the future, to join you in your action. The sheer arrogance is nauseating.

    Welcome to reality – enjoy the ride!

    • Danny Mack says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Jobcentre Plus staff not only impose sanctions under their petty rules they also engineer impossible situations for their claimants and lie and cheat to hit targets. They ignore request for information covered by the Data Protection Act and falsify records to delay payments. These people need to be exposed for what they are and their families and communities need to know what type of people they have living amongst them. Forget welcome to reality, Welcome to the spotlight! You’re either pointing it or you’re in it!

  3. Eric Greenwood (4727) says:

    What worries me is as more pressure is put upon job centre staff to sanction people, that these people will be pushed into destitution and will decide there is nothing left to lose and will take it out on the Job centre staff, Like the recent story about the job centre staff member in germany, who was shot and killed because of the treatment of this unemployed person. I know when i go into the job centre i am starting to feel an anger towards the staff due to their treatment of the unemployed. This is creating a whole culture of hatred towards the job centre and staff. A place that is supposed to help you find a job has evolved into a punishment factory. They blame the unemployed for not working but if employers wont hire them then who is really to blame.

  4. Max says:

    You are really not at all concerned with the plight of benefit claimants. Your proposed protestations are purely because you will shortly to become subject to exactly the same shit which you have been dishing out to others for year upon year. Go fuck yourselves…..you deserve everything you get you two faced wankers!

  5. Pingback: Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Take Action Against Jobcentre Plus

  6. A says:

    thanks for standing in solidarity with the un and underemployed (people like me). what you’re doing is really important. please ignore the other comments above – we have to fight this together, not between ourselves.

  7. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Take Action Against Jobcentre Plus

  8. Defcon Kitty says:

    The sort of comments above play directly into the hand of the government agenda. You don’t have to like or agree with JC+ staff, just put park your gripes and everyone get on the same side. To bitch at people or organisations you don’t like requires food in your belly and the power run your computer and printer.

    rant over.

    • John says:

      Well said Kitty. Oppressors are defeated when the people they hire to implement the oppressive acts rebel against their commanders. Achieving that state of affairs should be our agenda. The comments such as those by Lucozade read like sulking on the way to the slaughterhouse to me. I’m not prepared to be slaughtered, so an agenda of getting the slaughterhouse workers to turn their knives on their commanders rings correct to me.

    • Danny Mack says:

      No! The attitude of the Jobcentre Plus staff plays into the Government’s hands. They’re the ones sticking it to the poorest people in society. Why should the poorest accept this treatment to protect the people that have lied and cheated them in their hour of need? The Jobcentre Plus staff need to side with the claimants not the other way round! If they were decent human beings this situation would have never occurred as they’d have refused from the start. Too little but hopefully not too late, for them that is.

  9. DWP Staff can fuck off if they hate the job. says:

    I work for the Department myself, As an 18-24 year old, Perhaps some of the older JCP/DWP Staff can bugger off when they’re unhappy. All I ever hear from people is that they make less than they do three years ago and how the pay increase is unfair.
    If you’re at least a Band B/AO You’re getting paid £8.44 an hour. Personal Adviser? Enjoy your £11.20 an hour.

    People who do their best in the job are mostly fixed-term/temporary and are not entitled to these bonuses/pay scale increases.

    The current government needs to go, and the Wage Incentive needs to be scrapped, it doesn’t work, Campaigning at work will do fuck all if you’re not prepared to move on.

  10. jane100013 says:

    More effective boycott of the companies taking part is needed. When companies are named and shamed they quickly get out of the scheme as it hurts them in their pockets i.e. profits.

  11. Bret Tom O'Hawks says:

    It will be interesting to know how many Jobcentre employees receive sanctions once the Universal Credit arrives. I suspect there will be none – regulations will likely be brought in to exempt all civil servants from sanctions. However, it’s also just as likely that the 40% of Jobcentre staff will be sold-off to the likes of G4S and A4e. As it normally takes 40 days for new regulations to come into force you’ll know one way or the other by 22 August.

  12. I find most staff are decent. O.K. A few from the hit squad are a bit of an arse, but think after a bit of time in the job, common sense will prevail even amongst these new imports. Our common target is the destruction of the welfare state and workers rights, without these safety nets the common burden will be to overpowering and bring anyone without a good job to destitution in the name of reduced costs for employers and make life for those with such jobs precarious and open to all manor of exploitation.

    We are fighting a trend that wants us to return to Victorian working conditions, a race to the bottom for the majority whilst the few at the top gain all. Abject poverty brought on by market bubbles and the results of two world wars brought about the conditions that enabled a few enlightened folks at the top of the power structures to bring about new deal type social improvements for the many. Life did indeed get better for most compared to what had occurred before these changes.

    What we have seen the last few decades is life being framed into the deserving and undeserving, division is the name of the game. Now more than ever we need to all stick together to fight this menace to our common well-being, not just for us, but for those that come after us too. So please folks. I know the pain we are suffering. I am subject as a claimant to it too, the only way we can win is to organise and fight this together, it is in all of our interests to do this, so lets not fight amongst ourselves and get stuck into the real fight that is defending our rights and fighting the fight for a better life for all.

  13. bookmanwales says:

    One can only agree with the comments against jobcentre staff as above.. Solidarity was not a word they understood until it becomes apparent they may need it. Even now the PCS, Unite and other unions stand by quietly allowing sanctions and such to happen. Once they know they won’t be affected (no way anyone is going to sanction a work colleague) all thoughts of solidarity will once again disappear and they will happily resume their sanctions without a qualm.

    If they were truly upset about sanctions they would not carry them out, i.e not find easy means to make such sanctions, or even strike indefinitely.

    The plea for help after 3 years of sanctions without any show of solidarity is maybe too little too late.

  14. The justice league of Birkenhead says:

    You can’t act as the right hand of political insanity, then expect everyone you’ve attacked to throw themselves on the grenade for you. It’s like the SS asking for help from Jews in an internment camp……are you all mad? Every single one of you had multiple opportunities to out the system for its unfairness, to speak up and say loud and clear the Government anti benefit propaganda was wrong, unfair and lies, but you all kept quiet, you all just followed orders, as long as it wasn’t you……Well WAKE UP TIME.

  15. Ruby says:

    United we stand, it’s the government to blame and they need to take full responsibility for everything they’ve done

  16. Lucozade says:

    I’m assuming that as we’ve not heard a dicky bird about the action that it was a huge flop?

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