Socialist Worker

Sheffield strikers debate next steps in jobcentre closure fight

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2569

On the picket line at Hoylake in Merseyside

On the picket line at Hoylake in Merseyside (Pic: PCS)


Workers at a jobcentre in Sheffield ended a two-week strike on Friday of last week.

The members of the PCS union at Sheffield Eastern Avenue jobcentre have been fighting to stop their office from closing.

Almost one jobcentre in ten is set to close as part of Tory plans to slash jobs and shut down offices across the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The plans will mean more than 800 civil service workers will be made redundant.

Workers at another jobcentre, Hoylake in Merseyside, also held a 24-hour strike on Friday of last week in protest at the closure of their office that day.

Angela Grant, PCS branch secretary, said the closure would make life harder for claimants, who will have to travel further to sign on.

This will mean extra travel costs, and increase the likelihood of being sanctioned for missing or being late to an appointment.

“DWP claims this is a cost-cutting exercise, in reality the cost will be transferred to jobcentre users,” she said.

“This will become human cost and we cannot put a price on people’s health and wellbeing.”

Workers in Sheffield will be consulted on the next steps in their campaign.

They have to keep up the fight and keep striking, but to win the PCS will have to escalate the action.

A national ballot against the cuts and closures across the DWP is the best way to beat the attacks.


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