SEWN: Defend Higher Ed Pensions

IWW Scotland

PensionsDEFEND HIGHER ED PENSIONS

The pensions of the staff at Scottish universities covered by the USS pension scheme are under attack. Staff with many years of service and who are preparing to retire are now being told that their pensions will be worth far less than they expected. This is unfair, and all education workers and students need to organize to stop this from happening.

University management insists that the cuts are necessary because of the turmoil in the stock market and the current low interest rates. Management wants to shift from a system where those retiring are guaranteed a certain pension based on their salaries and length of service, to a system where staff pay a certain percentage of their income into the pension fund and then confront the uncertainty of receiving an indeterminate pension upon retirement. All of the risk is borne by the individual and none by…

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How The DWP Bribed Employers To Break Age Discrimination Laws With A ‘Golden Ticket’ Worth £2,275

the void

wage-incentive-goldenticketJobcentres bribed employers with ‘golden tickets’ worth up to £2,275 to hire young people over older workers despite warnings from lawyers that this Wage Incentive scheme was probably illegal.

Figures released this week show that over one hundred thousand ‘Wage Incentive’ payments were doled out to employers before the scheme was quietly abandoned last Summer.  These payments could be claimed from the DWP every time an employer recruited someone under 25 who had previously been on benefits.  An early evaluation of the scheme found that it was riddled with abuse, with employers making backdated claims for workers they had already hired, or even using Wage Incentives as a tax-payer funded rolling stock of temporary staff.  This report came alongside warning from the DWP’s own lawyers that companies who took these payments faced the risk of legal challenges under age discrimination laws from older workers denied jobs .

Despite these…

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Pro-Claimant Demo Gets Great Public Support in West Derby

Liverpool IWW

10347806_10206211254499322_8800753813848998896_nMembers of Liverpool IWW joined around a dozen activists, including people from the benefits advice group Reclaim, outside West Derby job centre on Eaton Road this lunchtime. This was part of a national day of action in solidarity with Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox. Tony was arrested on 29th January after Arbroath job centre management called police to stop him representing a vulnerable jobseeker. We protested to drive home the message that ‘advocacy is not a crime’, and aiming to build towards smashing sanctions against unemployed workers.

The G4S ‘security guards’ immediately called the cops when we showed up with our leaflets, placards and banners, which was pretty easy as the police station is right next door! A group of quite a few police went into the job centre and spoke to G4S employees for some time, before coming out and telling us they had no problem…

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Supporting Comrade Tony Cox

Activists from Dorset IWW and Dorset Peoples Assembly as well as unaligned comrades outside Bournemouth Job Centre in support of Tony Cox Photograph courtesty of Haydn Wheeler

Activists from Dorset IWW and Dorset Peoples Assembly as well as unaligned comrades outside Bournemouth Job Centre in support of Tony Cox
Photograph courtesty of Haydn Wheeler

Photograph courtesy of Haydn Wheeler

Photograph courtesy of Haydn Wheeler

Members of Dorset General Members Branch of the IWW at Bournemouth Job Centre today

Several Activists from across Bournemouth staged a demonstration of support for Tony Cox of the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network who was arrested on 29th January. Activists from Dorset GMB of the IWW, Dorset Peoples Assembly and unaligned activits were all present in a show of solidarity.

The following quote from SUWN
Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox was arrested on 29th January after Arbroath Jobcentre management called police to stop him representing a vulnerable jobseeker. We urge you to join a Day of Action on 25th February at Jobcentres round Britain to show your solidarity.

Leaflets were handed out to comrades signing on today informing them of how they can empower themselves to avoid workfare and what their rights are under the workfare scheme. Many people arriving at the job centre thanked us for our show of solidarity and appreciated that there are many comrades that understand their plight

Say No to slave labour and no to workfare

Dorset IWW

Win for wobbly language teacher!

Steel City Wobs

Second victory against wage stealing language school

Speak up for workers rights

In another victory against a now-notorious wage-stealing language school, a London English teacher has won a four-figure wage theft settlement.

Before anyone gets too excited, this is not about the Leicester Square School of English – that campaign is still ongoing and actions are planned for the future. This story relates to an action that occurred last November, but could not be publicised until now for legal reasons.

The worker in question is the second employee to successfully speak up and fight back against the school’s shady payment practices.

Three items were in question: wholly bogus and unpaid “training” lessons, lack of proper holiday accrual, and underpayment of preparation hours.

After joining a the IWW and hooking up with the Angry Language Brigade, the worker was joined by a dozen supporters – including a number of fellow TEFL workers – for a…

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25 Feb Day of Action to support activist arrested at jobcentre for representing a jobseeker

Dorset IWW GMB are supporting this action with a picket in our area, if you would like to be involved, please contact us!

SUWN protest

Support Tony Cox from the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network, who was arrested after assisting a claimant at Arbroath Jobcentre.

Solidarity with unemployed activist arrested for representing a jobseeker – call out by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. Take part in a day of action at job centres Britain-wide, 25 February 2015.

Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox was arrested on 29th January after Arbroath Jobcentre management called police to stop him representing a vulnerable jobseeker. We urge you to join a Day of Action on 25th February at Jobcentres round Britain to show your solidarity.

We must fight back against this clear attempt to intimidate claimants and deny us the right to be accompanied and represented. Tony will be in court in Forfar on 25th February facing charges of “threatening behaviour, refusing to give his name and address and resisting arrest”. That same day we call on people to descend on jobcentres round Britain to show their solidarity with Tony and distribute information to claimants urging them to exercise their right to be accompanied and represented at all benefits interviews.

As we face unprecedented sanctions and benefits cuts, it’s more important than ever that we support each other and stand up to the DWP bullies. The Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions and other groups have established a strong presence at the Jobcentres in Dundee and in nearby towns and cities like Arbroath, Perth and Blairgowrie, supporting claimants in opposing sanctions and harassment.
On 29 January Tony was accompanying a vulnerable woman claimant, who suffers from severe dyslexia and literacy problems. The claimant, D, had been signed up to the Universal Job Match (UJM), the computerised job search system, and was being forced to complete five job searches per day, the pressure of which had led to her having several panic attacks. Tony proposed that D’s UJM account be closed, and that her number of job searches be significantly reduced. The adviser refused to consider this, and so Tony and D met with the Jobcentre manager.

The manager likewise refused to even look at the issue, falsely claiming that all jobseekers had to be registered with UJM. She even suggested to D that she should arrange another meeting without Tony or any other witness or rep present. Despite the pressure D was being put under by the manager, she replied that she would not attend another meeting without Tony. At this point the manager demanded that Tony leave the building or the police would be called. Tony refused to leave, but the meeting ended when it was agreed that a further meeting be arranged to discuss the issue further. Tony was arrested after he left the Jobcentre.

The right of claimants to be accompanied to interviews, and for the accompanier to have the right to speak, has been established by groups like Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, who have forced the DWP locally and Britain-wide to apologise for calling the police on ECAP reps, and to affirm claimants’ right to representation. The DWP clearly state “Claimants accessing Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits and services can have someone to accompany them to act on their behalf…”

The attack on benefits and claimants is part of the austerity assault on the entire working class. We call on all unemployed and claimants groups, anti cuts and anti austerity groups, human rights groups, workplace activists, and all working class people, waged and unwaged, to show solidarity with Tony and the right of the unemployed and all claimants to organise collectively to fight back.

Visit your local Jobcentre on 25th February with banners and placards and distribute leaflets to claimants on Tony’s case and the right to be accompanied to all benefits interviews.

Call out by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty – ecap@lists.riseup.net

Supported by Scottish Unemployed Workers Network
Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions
Boycott Workfare
Disabled People Against Cuts

Please add the support of your group/organisation: email admin@scottishunemployedworkers.net& ecap@lists.riseup.net

And don’t forget Disabled People Against Cut’s Day of Action the following week on 2 March!