Socialist Worker

Strike coming in two weeks time

by PHIL PARDOE, PCS group executive committee DWP (personal capacity)
Issue No. 1909

THERE IS a full spectrum assault on the PCS union and jobs in the DWP.

Job cuts on the scale which is being talked about will mean massive disruption to people’s lives.

The pension centres in Liverpool and York that are closing have several hundred staff each.

What is going to happen to them? You’re talking about compulsory redundancies.

Millions of workers who are looking forward to a pension should now be aware that they are going to get a worse service because of these cuts.

Low pay and the job cuts are part of the same issue. There is a clear link, and it is time that the union in the DWP stopped putting these things in different boxes.

There is another two-day strike in our long-running dispute over low pay on 29 and 30 July. I’m sure last week’s announcement will make it even more solid than previous actions.

I’ve had reports that people have been in tears.

We had a union meeting in my office to discuss the jobs. It was really well attended, including people who don’t normally attend union meetings.

The group executive committee has to make the decision that all these issues are linked, and that we have to escalate the dispute at its next meeting on 20 and 21 July.

If now is not the time to escalate, I don’t know when is.

It’s time to step up the fight, and let government ministers know we will not go quietly.

Ready for a vote of no confidence

THE GOVERNMENT plans to move the processing of benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance and income support from 650 offices around the country to 100 benefits processing centres.

This will close 550 Jobcentre Plus offices, bringing an end to local services in many places.

The government also plans to close two large pensions centres in York and Liverpool. These deal with enquiries and claims for pension credit, the state pension and winter fuel allowance.

Six pension centres will transfer to Jobcentre Plus, Burnley will transfer to the Appeals Service and Plymouth to the Child Support Agency.

The union is balloting all members in a vote of no confidence against DWP bosses.

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Article information

Sat 10 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1909
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