DWP sanctions cranked up


Gather 10am onwards at Leith Job Centre, 199 Commercial Street, EH6 6QP
Part of the Boycott Workfare Week of Action against Workfare
The Department For Workfare and Punishment (DWP) have set up a 'Hit Squad'  in Leith Jobcentre to target Work Programme returners and harass them!
A new manager at Leith Jobcentre has told staff that 30% of claimants are not meeting the conditions for receiving benefits - the clear implication is that these claimants should be sanctioned. In reality this is a return to the supposedly outlawed practice of setting sanctions targets, and is totally unfair and unjust.

What does this mean for YOU?  You can be required to attend a mandatory work-focused appointment at this and other jobcentres EVERY WEEK or even EVERY DAY with the Hit Squad!  YOU will be intimidated to change your Jobseeker's Agreement to MASSIVELY increase the number of steps you currently take to find work, with the threat of a SANCTION if you don't agree to the changes!

This is government policy, not the fault of the ordinary Jobcentre staff.  They too are under attack from government policy which seeks to further undermine their pay, conditions and job security. Job centre workers are now only given temporary contracts, some are actually facing the sack and could easily end up on the other side of the counter.

We are organising to stop sanctions being imposed on us. If you have a tricky interview at the Job Centre, take a friend or adviser with you, this is your right. You also have the right to challenge sanctions. Ask for the decision to be reviewed and appeal against the benefit cut. If need be, we can alert our Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty solidarity network to have a peaceful demonstration INSIDE the Job Centre.

Sanctions are not only being imposed on unemployed people claiming Job Seekers Allowance – people who are sick and disabled and on Employment and Support Allowance also face sanctions. 
We need to step up resistance to the Work Programme and all work-for-your-benefits schemes. Workfare not only exploits the unemployed, it undermines all workers' wages and conditions. It's part of the Condem government's austerity programme against all working class people, making the rich richer and the poor poorer.  We can learn from the resistance in Brazil, Turkey, Spain, Greece and elsewhere - it's no good relying on politicians or leaders, we need grass-roots direct action.
See www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk for more info on resistance, including how to resist Universal Jobmatch and how you have the right to be accompanied at all benefits interviews.
Contact Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty at
ECAP Support sessions every Tuesday 12-3pm at ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place EH7 5HA
Boycott Workfare
Demo supported by Greater Leith Against the Cuts http://edinburghagainstcuts.org.uk/
PS Some might think talk of a “hit squad” is a bit over the top – but these are the exact words employed by the official government press release boasting how they are going to attack the unemployed in Jobcentres all round the UK!

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EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY is based at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE), an open campaign space & infoshop providing resources and solidarity. Resources available include free computer/internet access, cheap copying, free leaflets, books, pamphlets and mags for sale, and a library. Every Tuesday from 12 to 3pm support and solidarity is available for benefits, debt hassles, housing and other problems. Please contact us at Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty c/o ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA, 0131 557 6242 or ecap@lists.riseup.net. We invite you to join our solidarity phone tree and get involved. ACE is also open at other times for particular events (but the support and solidarity sessions are only on Tuesday).