Sheffield Jobcentre workers announce two week strike

11 August 2017

Jobcentre workers in Sheffield will step up action against closure with a two-week strike starting on Monday (14), the Public and Commercial Services union announces.

The union’s 50 members at Eastern Avenue jobcentre are campaigning to protect services for unemployed, sick and disabled people. The walkout follows week-long strikes in June and July.

The union says closing the office would remove a vital public service covering one of the most deprived areas of the city, forcing claimants to travel much further to access the services they need to find work.

Many of the claimants are sick, disabled or with young children and the extra journey would make it harder to access employment and training opportunities.

The campaign is building against the government’s plans to axe almost one in 10 jobcentres across the UK.

A demonstration will be held outside Whitley Bay jobcentre tomorrow (12) ahead of a strike there next Thursday and Friday (17/18), and members at Hoylake jobcentre in Merseyside will strike later this month.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to join the union’s national president Janice Godrich and Labour MP Hugh Gaffney at a demonstration in Coatbridge on Friday 25 August.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell sent a message of support to the Sheffield strikers in June saying: “The DWP has forced through this office closure programme with no consideration for either the service or the staff.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We will continue to fight to save jobcentres that provide a lifeline for unemployed, sick and disabled people. It is utterly disgraceful that this Tory government is abandoning our communities.”

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