Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/588/7566
From The Socialist newspaper, 22 July 2009
Keep Deptford Jobcentre open!
THE PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) is campaigning to keep the Jobcentre in Deptford open. They organised a public meeting on the Jobcentre's future on 9 July. The speakers' list included the PCS' London DWP regional secretary Tony Reay, its national general secretary Mark Serwotka, Lewisham Socialist Party councillor Ian Page and local Labour MP Joan Ruddock.
Deptford is an inner-city area of London with high unemployment rates which has always needed a Jobcentre, especially as the recession has driven local unemployment up from 2,000 to 3,000. Scandalously Trillium, Deptford Jobcentre's current private owners, plans to close it and build a restaurant and private flats when the current site's lease expires in November.
Ian Page congratulated the organisers for calling such a large public meeting of over 60 people, ten of them workers from the Jobcentre and the others largely from the local community.
Mark Serwotka said it was a testimony to how the PCS operated that although no Jobcentre jobs are threatened, workers there were prepared to reach out to workers in Deptford through the campaign.
Tony Reay explained that everyone says they support keeping a Jobcentre in Deptford but despite that the only practical proposals to achieve this aim had come from PCS members working in Deptford. Without the centre, travel costs for most claimants to the new proposed office would be £4, a significant bite out of the meagre claimants' benefit.
Although Joan Ruddock supported the campaign's aims, she could not answer several speakers from the floor who, in a heated discussion, demanded to know how the Labour government and the DWP had got itself into a situation where it did not even have control of its own Jobcentres.
Ian Page called for a reversal of privatisation initiatives that had led to companies like Trillium having control over public services. He called for public ownership and the setting up a of a new workers' party.
The meeting enthusiastically endorsed escalating local activity including marches in the area and possibly lobbying the DWP at its headquarters to obtain a guarantee from management that a new site is found for Deptford Jobcentre.
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In The Socialist 22 July 2009:
Corus... Vestas... Defend every job!
No Job Cuts
Vestas: Support the occupation
Vestas jobs fightback
Action to save steel jobs at Corus
Defend the Four: Protest at the Unison witch-hunt
Unison witch-hunt verdict causes outrage amongst trade unionists
Youth fight for jobs
Youth fight for jobs fortnight of action
National strike action to halt attacks on workers and our postal services
Tube workers' action wins concessions
South Yorkshire First Buses strike over pay
London Met Uni strike
Every little helps Tesco's as they attack workers
Teachers strike against job cuts
Care homes public meeting
Union action to fight the attacks on our pensions
Pensions - in brief
Pensions: We say
BNP get police to arrest socialists
Lincoln fights back against racist BNP
Stop the BNP's 'festival' of hate
Rock Against Racism
Socialist Party campaigns
Keep Deptford Jobcentre open!
Build the Tamil Solidarity campaign
Devon residents against incinerators: Alternative waste schemes needed
Another stepping stone towards health privatisation
Marxist analysis: history
20th anniversary of Soviet miners' strike
40th anniversary of the moon landing What steps has humanity taken?
The Socialist 22 July 2009 |
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