Tensions between claimants and jobcentre workers over sanctions have been rising for some time. Now, with the Public and Commercial Services union stifling rank-and-file efforts to initiate a non-cooperation campaign, they threaten to boil over into active hostility. How can we avoid this – and resist sanctions?
Universal Credit is set to replace Job Seeker’s Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, income support, housing benefit and tax credits. The single payment will be less than the five separate benefits, making it a welfare cut as well as a significant reform. It is going live with a trial at Ashton-under-Lyne jobcentre from 29 April.
Excellent document from the New Economics Foundation debunking government and media rhetoric about benefit "skivers" and showing that only 2.6% of welfare spending is on the unemployed.
‘Strivers versus skivers’ purports to sums up our welfare state, and why, therefore, the benefits system should be reformed.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died. The occasion has been the cause of both mourning and jubilation. What follows is a reflection on what this means in the context of the ongoing class struggle.
Today, along with up to 55,000 other workers in HM Revenue & Customs, I was taking part in a half day's strike. It was just before one when literally hundreds of us were gathered outside work for a mass walk-in, and a member of the public ran past excitedly. “Maggie Thatcher's dead!” He yelled.
The Public and Commercial Services Union has responded to threats of legal action by removing one section of its membership from the strike action due to take place on the 5 and 8 April. This shows the limits of legal trade unionism. It also underlines the urgent need for strong rank-and-file movements in the UK.
We’ve been here before. At the end of 2011, Balfour Beatty threatened to get an injunction against Unite the Union to stop the industrial action it had called for its members in construction. Unite responded by instantly capitulating.
A blog about welfare reform from a social care worker's perspective, and the creation of the "welfare addict" as a recession-era scapegoat. Inspired largely by today's Novara show, and the people I work with.
I've got a personal grudge against a colleague of mine. I know this is bad for workplace solidarity. A month ago I sat in the office filling out a service user's DLA1
- 1. Disability Living Allowance – a non-means-tested benefit intended to cover the additional costs of having long term care or mobility needs.
Are the UK government planning to use Workfare placements and welfare store-cards as part of a state-run 'Truck system'?
The Guardian reported this week that Birmingham council is to provide crisis welfare in the form of prepaid store-cards, which will be redeemable only in Asda stores as part of the government’s welfare reforms starting in April.
After years of uncertainty and two mistrials, Alfie Meadows and Zak King have been found unanimously not guilty of violent disorder on a demonstration against tuition fees and cuts to education of December 9, 2010. Alfie was beaten so badly by police on that day he needed three hours of emergency surgery after he developed bleeding on the brain.
The following is a press statement from Defend the Right to Protest, who have tirelessly supported Zak, Alfie and other victims of police violence and harassment.
“The struggle for justice for my son has finally begun” (Susan Matthews, mother of Alfie Meadows).
Stories about the government threatening a “crack down” on trade union power emerge almost on a loop. Particularly in times of heightened class antagonism. But far from showing the unions as threats to society, such threats are a demand that the unions tighten up their role in policing class conflict.
The latest such story comes from the Independent, the main headline of which is a policy to “make strikes illegal unless at least 50 per cent of union members voted in a ballot.” This ties in with government rhetoric about ballot turnout whenever they attempt to
As journalists at the BBC strike to defend their jobs while senior execs get huge payoffs, former front man of middle-of-the-road Britpop act The Charlatans, scabs on them by covering for Lauren Laverne who joined the walkout. Presumably, as he is so desperate, being a scab is the only way he can get on the radio.
Thousands of members of the National Union of Journalists at the corporation walked out on 18 February against job cuts. As the corporation makes compulsory redundancies while advertising posts externally and giving huge payoffs to failing bosses like George Entwistle who quit during the Jimmy Savile scandal.
A number of pieces have been written recently on “unity” amongst the left and the ways we can achieve that. What follows are the reasons I reject left unity as a notion and the kind of real unity that the workers' movement needs – and, to a large extent, already has.