We’ll be joining the PCS picket from 8.30 at Brixton Job Centre on Brixton Road, then paying a visit to Brixton A4e – conveniently located close to the Job Centre at 444a Brixton Road
What New Labour started, the ConDems are going for at full speed. Already we hear Tesco, Primark and Poundland and Whittington Hospital “employing” workers on compulsory work-for-benefits. Claimants have also been forced into unpaid work as tube station stewards at Finsbury Park station – at a time when 800 tube station jobs have been cut. Meanwhile, disabled people being forced off ESA into “jobseeking”, and single parents are forced to work even when they can’t afford childcare.
About 300 voluntary sector organisations such as Age Concern, Barnados and Shelter are also offering to take part in this ‘Work Programme’.
When New York City introduced workfare in the 80s it sacked 30000 unionised workers and replaced them with compulsory work-for-benefits slaves. In the UK we’re now fighting to stop thousands more public sector workers from loosing their pensions and their jobs.
But this struggle is not simply about public sector workers. It’s about welfare services and consequently, living standards for all working people getting trashed – if we don’t defeat the government.
The ConDemn project aims to drive down wages, destroy the minimum wage, destroy the welfare state, and make sure there’s a pool of desperate ordinary people facing starvation. Do they want to take us back to the 30s (and further?) But the 1930s also saw massive resistance by the so-called unemployed.
We can make that happen again. They call for ‘robust’ sanctions against the unemployed and poor – we will give them robust resistance! Just to begin with, we’re supporting the PCS union members on their picket lines at Job Centres and will take the struggle to the poverty profiteers that undermine conditions for all workers.
Along with firms such as Igneus Delta and G4S (who also run prisons and security centres known for abusive conditions and deaths in custody) A4E is a leading and rapidly expanding champion and executor of ‘workfare’ slavery. Its founder, Emma Harrison, is a country mansion-dwelling millionaire raking in profits from the poverty of others.