The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 18th August 2017

PCS fight to save Sheffield Jobcentre

THE CIVIL service union PCS is engaged in a campaign to prevent the closure of Sheffield’s Eastern Avenue Jobcentre to protect services for unemployed, sick and disabled people.

On Monday they began a two-week strike action, after week-long strikes in June and July.

Closing the office would remove a vital public service covering one of the most deprived areas of the city, forcing claimants to travel much further to access the services they need to find work.

Many of the claimants are sick, disabled or with young children, and the extra journey would make it harder to access employment and training opportunities.

The campaign is building against the Government’s plans to axe almost one in 10 Jobcentres across Britain.

A demonstration was held outside Whitley Bay Jobcentre at the weekend ahead of a strike there this Thursday and Friday, and PCS members at Hoylake Jobcentre in Merseyside have voted to strike later this month.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to join PCS national president Janice Godrich and Labour MP Hugh Gaffney at a demonstration in Coatbridge on Friday 25th August.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell sent a message of support to the Sheffield strikers in June, saying: “The DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] has forced through this office closure programme with no consideration for either the service or the staff.”

The DWP admits that it has not assessed the impact of closing 78 local Jobcentres.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We will continue to fight to save Jobcentres that provide a lifeline for unemployed, sick and disabled people. It is utterly disgraceful that this Tory government is abandoning our communities.”