Join us to demonstrate against Workfare

NO TO COMPULSORY
“WORK-FOR-YOUR-BENEFITS” SCHEMES

DEMONSTRATE IN EDINBURGH
MEET 12 NOON SATURDAY 3RD MARCH
HUNTER SQUARE, off SOUTH BRIDGE

We will be demonstrating at Companies exploiting free slave labour....as part of a UK-wide day of action

More and more people are opposing the Government's compulsory "work-for-your-benefits" schemes such as the Work Programme.  Sainsbury’s, Waterstones, TK Maxx, Marie Curie, and Oxfam have all pulled out of the schemes within the last few days.  Now we say to those companies and charities still involved in this rip-off – stop now! 

This “workfare” makes millions for multinational fraudsters like A4e who supply the free labour to employers.

Workfare undermines the pay and conditions of all workers.

Workfare punishes the unemployed, when the real cause of unemployment is the chaotic profit system.

LET'S MAKE WORKFARE UNWORKABLE!

We plan to continue action till workfare is stopped.  This is vital as the government is planning to extend workfare to many claimants on Employment and Support Allowance, paid to claimants too ill to work.

 

Meet 4pm Mon 5 March at ACE, 17 W Montgomery Place EH7 5HA to plan action for Sat 10 March.

We already know some of the employers using workfare here, but if you know of companies or charities in Edinburgh participating in the workfare schemes please do let us know.

CUTTING DISABILITY BENEFIT KILLS - PROCLAIM DEMONSTRATORS AT ATOS EDINBURGH BENEFITS TESTING CENTRE

 Cutting disability benefits kills!  That was the message from campaigners who protested at the ATOS benefits testing centre at York Place, Edinburgh on 16th December.  At the same time people demonstrated at ATOS in Glasgow, London and around Britain, as part of the UK-wide month of action against ATOS and the unfair sickness benefits tests.

 

 

Participants distributed Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty leaflets and plastered the ATOS building with posters and bannerrs, all denouncing ATOS and urging that no-one face them alone – anyone called in to one of the pernicious ATOS tests should always take a friend or adviser with them.  And if refused benefits you should always appeal – 40% of appeals are successful, rising to 70% when the claimant is represented.

 

DEMONSTRATE AGAINST SCROOGE. ANTI-ATOS FRIDAY 16TH DECEMBER

RESIST THE ATTACKS ON THE SICK AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

SAY NO TO THE UNFAIR TESTS CUTTING SICKNESS & DISABILITY BENEFITS

GATHER AT THE ATOS BENEFITS TESTING CENTRE, 44 YORK PLACE, EDINBURGH

THIS COMING FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER 10AM - 12 NOON

PART OF THE UK-WIDE MONTH OF ACTION AGAINST ATOS

“Thousands of seriously ill cancer patients will be forced to take medical tests and face "back to work" interviews, despite assurances from ministers that they would not make it harder for the sick to get welfare, charities have warned.Buried in a report to ministers by Prof Malcolm Harrington, the government adviser on testing welfare recipients, are proposals to force cancer patients who are undergoing intravenous chemotherapy to prove they are too ill to work.”

(Guardian 6.12.11 http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/06/cancer-patients-welfare-wo... )

This is what awaits us unless we get organised to resist. Already tens of thousands of ill people are being subjected to the Work Capability Assesments, disqualified from sickness benefits and thrown onto Job Seekers Allowance, where they face compulsory work-for-your-benefits forced labour schemes.

ATOS are the multinational company with a £500 million contract from the government to carry out the tests which are central to deciding whether or not people get sickness benefits.

This is all part of the wider attack on the majority of us, to try and make us pay for the greed of the rich and the crisis in their chaotic capitalist system.

Join us in this protest and in leafleting and showing solidarity with claimants going into ATOS. If possible, bring placards, banners, whistles, drums, whatever you would hope to find.

CAMPAIGNERS TAKE ACTION AGAINST CRIMINAL LANDLORDS

Community activists in Edinburgh have launched a campaign to lobby the City of Edinburgh Council for the effective enforcement of legislation against criminal landlords.

Research by Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group (EPTAG) has found that no landlord has ever been struck off the landlord register, despite some landlords committing criminal offences against their tenants.

One Edinburgh based landlord, Mark Fortune, was recently convicted on October 12th for threatening his tenants with violence after they asked him to pay for repairs.

Fortune, 42, of Essex Brae Edinburgh has previously been banned from renting out HMO properties, amid allegations that he threatened council staff. Earlier this year was fined £1,000 for letting an HMO property without a licence. Fortune is still legally able to rent out properties in Edinburgh.

A spokesperson for EPTAG said: “Stricter enforcement of the law regarding criminal landlords is urgently needed to protect the rights and welfare of private tenants, many of whom are among the most vulnerable in our city. More resources needs to be put into stopping these unscrupulous landlords who abuse the rights of tenants, and break the law."

The formation of this group has coincided with the formation of a similar organisation in Glasgow, which also plans to campaign against criminal landlords.

Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group was started by tenants who have had experiences of bad landlords, some of whom have been involved in previous campaigns against bad landlords and is a member of the Edinburgh Tenants Federation and Scottish Tenants Organisation.

Follow EPTAG on facebook.

Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group http://eptag.org.uk/

ECAP supports the National Strike Day

On the massive 30 November Strike Day supporters of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty joined the Jobcentre workers picketline, protested at slave labour shysters A4e, then participated in the thousands-strong march to the Scottish Parliament.

At the main entrance of High Riggs Jobcentre, Edinburgh on 30 November

At the main entrance of High Riggs Jobcentre, Edinburgh on 30 November

 ECAP were warmly welcomed by the workers picketing the High Riggs Jobcentre, who reported 90% on strike, with a similar high strike rate at Leith Jobcentre.   ECAP members were able to display banners and leaflet claimants going in at the main public entrance where, the workers reported, they were not allowed to go. 

     Jobcentre workers and Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty together picketing High Riggs Jobcentre, Edinburgh on 30 November

THIS WED 30 NOVEMBER STRIKE DAY

 

THIS WED 30 NOVEMBER STRIKE DAY

EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY ACTIVITY

All welcome to join us...

 

8AM ONWARDS till 9.30/10ish....

JOINING JOBCENTRE WORKERS' PICKET AT HIGH RIGGS JOBCENTRE by Tollcross

 

9.30am/10ish till 11ish... 

MOVING ON TO LEAFLET AND DISPLAY BANNERS AT A4E OFFICES, 34 EARL GREY STREET (just 2-3 mins away, Earl Grey St is an extension of Lothian Rd, near Tollcross )

 

11.15AM/11.30ish...

JOINING DEMO ASSEMBLING AT USHER HALL/ JOHNSTON TERRACE,  MARCHING OFF AT 12 NOON TO PARLIAMENT

Victory for Edinburgh unemployed over A4e

 Tribunal overturns sanction and upholds right to representation

Claimants in Edinburgh have won a potentially crucial victory in the battle for the right of unemployed people to be represented at DWP provider A4e – thanks to the courageous stand taken by brave ex-miner Peter. An independent Tribunal has ruled that a claimant cannot have his benefits stopped because he “felt the need to have the representative of his choice.”

Peter has stood up to A4e for over two years, despite the multinational attempting to have his benefits stopped on over a dozen occasions. Now the Social Security Tribunal's decision of 31 August has overturned the last remaining sanction against him.

The infamous multinational A4e have been denying the unemployed who are forced to attend their compulsory workfare schemes the right to be accompanied by the representative of their choice (A4e make a fortune from the taxpayer by running these schemes on behalf of the DWP, the Department of Work and Pensions).

EDINBURGH DEMO AGAINST PRIVATISATION OF SERVICES

Demo against privatisation of Edinburgh Council Services
(with possible occupation)
At Council meeting this Thursday 27th, demo from 8.30am onwards, meeting
starts 10am
At Council Chambers, High St
Environmental Services, including refuse collection and street cleansing,
plus other services face privatisation.  This would mean redundancies,
attacks on wages and conditions plus worse services.
Demo called by UNISON but this affects all Edinburgh citizens and we hope
as many people as possible will be there and be prepared to take as strong
action as possible to stop this attack.
more info  http://edinburghmuckraker.org.uk/

Huge rise in JSA sanctions as government cranks up its attacks.

 A recent Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland briefing has reported a rise of 459% in sanctions against JSA claimants in a 2 year period. Between October 2008 and October 2010, the number of sanctions against JSA  claimants increased from 10,700 a month to almost 60,000 as a result of some Jobcentre Plus offices setting targets for sanction referrals for JCP staff to achieve. That's 60,000 of us stripped of all benefits in a squalid attempt to lessen a national deficit that none of us had any responsibility for creating.

Scottish fuel poverty increases

From today's Herald:

The Westminster Government’s annual fuel poverty statistics, unveiled yesterday, show more than a quarter of Scotland’s 2.5 million households living in fuel poverty. The pressure group Energy Action Scotland predicts that following the big rises in gas and electricity prices announced recently, well over a third of Scots households will be fuel poor (defined as spending more than 10% of their income keeping warm) this winter.

Each year Scotland has around 2000 excess winter deaths, the number that cannot be accounted for by normal seasonal fluctuations. In Scandinavia, the figure is close to zero, thanks largely to super-insulated homes. (A pensioner paying only £300 a year for energy is less vulnerable to a 20% price hike.) Yet in Scotland we continue to suffer from some of the worst insulated housing stock in Europe. A major factor is the third of homes that are not suitable for cavity wall insulation, including sandstone and granite tenement blocks.

Thanks to the Greens, the Scottish Government is distributing £48m a year in Energy Assistance Packages to vulnerable groups but the demand is so high that the scheme is not advertised.

Meanwhile the UK Government’s Warm Home Discount, which is replacing social tariffs, is restricted mainly to those on pension credit. Apart from the fact that it barely replaces the £100 cut in the winter fuel allowance, it is not available to other vulnerable groups, such as the low-paid, those on benefits and the disabled. Also, because it is a flat rate £120 throughout the country, it discriminates against Scotland. (The average annual bill is £120 higher in Greenock and £300 higher in Inverness than in Bristol.)

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