Socialist Worker

Job centres

by Phil Pardoe, branch secretary PCS inner London branch
Issue No. 1788

The national strike of tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union working in job centres and benefits offices is reaching a crucial point. We are striking over the removal of safety screens in the newly merged Jobcentre Plus offices.

New Labour is out to seriously weaken the union. But its policies have made these offices dangerous. Claimants' despair and anger can boil over in offices. That was seen recently in the tragic murder of a claimant in a Slough office.

The group executive committee which runs the strike made the decision to pencil in strike dates for 6 and 7 March. It also decided to hold a delegate meeting in Leeds this Saturday. Many activists are worried, as the last strike saw weaknesses among job centre workers. We desperately need to get the strike back on track. The government's new Jobcentre Plus scheme is set to open officially on Tuesday 2 April. We feel it would put pressure on New Labour if there were four days of action that week.

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Sat 23 Feb 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1788
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