Posts Tagged ‘Blairgowrie’

Boycott Workfare’s Day of Action against Jobcentre Bullies

February 22, 2015

Boycott workfare have called for a day of action against jobcentres up and down the country on the 25th. This is in support of an activist with the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Tony Cox, who was arrested at Arbroath jobcentre. Cox had accompanied a female claimant, who suffers from severe dyxlexia and reading problems. She was having several severe panic attacks every day caused by the stress of filling five Universal Job Match applications every day. Cox was there to represent her. The jobcentre refused to consider reducing the numbers of applications she should make, and insisted that signing up to UJM is compulsory. It is not. They objected to Cox’s presence, and he was arrested when he left the building.

The article begins

Solidarity with unemployed activist arrested for representing a jobseeker – call out by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.

Take part in a day of action at job centres Britain-wide, 25 February 2015.

Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox was arrested on 29th January after Arbroath Jobcentre management called police to stop him representing a vulnerable jobseeker. We urge you to join a Day of Action on 25th February at Jobcentres round Britain to show your solidarity.

We must fight back against this clear attempt to intimidate claimants and deny us the right to be accompanied and represented. Tony will be in court in Forfar on 25th February facing charges of “threatening behaviour, refusing to give his name and address and resisting arrest”. That same day we call on people to descend on jobcentres round Britain to show their solidarity with Tony and distribute information to claimants urging them to exercise their right to be accompanied and represented at all benefits interviews.

As we face unprecedented sanctions and benefits cuts, it’s more important than ever that we support each other and stand up to the DWP bullies. The Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions and other groups have established a strong presence at the Jobcentres in Dundee and in nearby towns and cities like Arbroath, Perth and Blairgowrie, supporting claimants in opposing sanctions and harassment.”

The article gives details of individual protests in Scotland, and provides links to leaflets that can be given out outside the jobcentres. There is also another link to a petition you can sign. They also urge you to write in support of Mr Cox to Noel Shanahan, the Director of General Operations at the DWP.

This is a major issue. As Mike over at Vox Political and Johnny Void have repeatedly covered in their blogs, there are major issues with privacy and protecting the civil rights of claimants with Universal Job Match. It is not compulsory, and contains any number of defects and flaws. Such as false, spam offers of jobs by agencies seeking to increase their profile on the Net. And also, I think you’re entitled to want to avoid it as it’s IDS vanity project. It’s been set up by the man responsible for 51,200 deaths per year due to his sanctions regime.

And the jobcentres definitely hate anybody coming in to give support to claimants. Before I was effectively thrown off benefit, I used to come in with my mother. The last time I went there, a woman on the ground floor told me that only I could go up to the interviewing area. Mum had to stay downstairs. I really do wonder what they’re afraid of, when they object to the presence of a respectable lady in her mature years.

Their cowards and bullies and definitely need to be tackled.