Socialist Worker

Anger over jobcentre cuts

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2562

Tory minister Damian Hinds

Tory minister Damian Hinds (Pic: HMRC)

Benefits campaigners and trade unionists are demanding action to stop the closure of nearly one in ten jobcentres.

Tory minister Damian Hinds announced last week that the government is going ahead with plans to close 74 jobcentres across Britain.

Closures would see hundreds of workers sacked—and mean more misery for benefit claimants.

Back of house offices in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is in charge of jobcentres, are also targeted.

But there is already resistance. Workers at the Sheffield Eastern Avenue jobcentre plan to walk out in a second week-long strike on Monday of next week against the closure of their office.

The DWP backed down from a plan to close Glasgow’s Castlemilk jobcentre after a strong campaign by residents and benefit claimants.

Drew McEwan, who was part of the campaign, said it “has shown that organised resistance works”.

More strikes—and solidarity from other workers—can stop the cuts.

Steve West from the PCS DWP group executive committee said, “We’re going to have to respond very strongly.

“Certainly there should be a strike ballot where members want to fight. But really the PCS should ballot all members across the DWP.”

Steve West speaks in a personal capacity

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