Twitter feed Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants

Please DONATE to our campaign !

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Scotland's jobless hits new high

The number of jobless people in Scotland has soared to its highest level since the mid-1990s, according to new research published on Wednesday.

And in Glasgow City the number of adults on out-of-work benefits hit a worrying 24 per cent.

Across the country those figures grew by 1.4 per cent between November 2007 and November 2009, revealing a slightly worse picture than in England - despite faring better before the recession kicked in.

Following some years of progress on child poverty, the number of children in low-income households rose by 2 per cent in the last year of the recession.

Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland (CPAGS) said this must serve as "a wake-up call to both Holyrood and Westminster."

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Holyrood would be better able to tackle inequalities once full control of tax and benefits had been taken from London.

"In the meantime, we are continuing to press the UK government on its plans to change the welfare system so that the poorest families get the help they need," she said.

Communist Party of Britain Scottish committee member John Foster said the report highlighted the "extreme vulnerability of the Scottish economy."

And while he accepted that Westminster was responsible for benefits, he pointed to GMB research revealing that Holyrood had cut 20,000 jobs out of the 150,000 already announced by the Con-Dem coalition.

"This crisis demands a united response from all Scottish parliamentary parties and the trade union movement.

"The kind of response seen earlier this month when the future of the aircraft carriers was at risk."

CPAGS head John Dickie said the previous investment increases in benefits and child tax credits to decreases in child poverty, but the recent lack of investment threatened to undermine those gains.

He expressed concern that the benefits of past economic growth had not reached the poorest and called for a "fundamentally rethink" of how to tackle the underlying factors of child poverty.

He called on Holyrood to promote a living wage, particularly in the public sector, and see that its commitments to provide free school meals for all children in the first three years of education and to providing grants for uniforms were fairly and consistently distributed.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Demo at Tory Party Conference

Could people wanting to travel from down to the Tory Conference please let us know if they want to reserve seats - the bus is filling up, and we would like to get prior notice if another bus will be needed!

email: are the contact details. To reserve tickets for the bus email or phone 07885 475 183 / 07986 085 162

For list of buses going from other areas email us. You can reserve and be put on the list and be ensured a seat, if you get in touch soon!! Thanks very much, and look forward to seeing you all, cheers!

Tory Conference is on from Sun 3rd - Wed 6th October

This year's tory conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham.

3rd October, Demo @ Tory Party Conference

Tell Cameron - Stuff Your Cuts, We Won't Pay

A national demonstration has been call outside the Tory Party annual conference on 3 October. David Cameron's party are meeting in Birmingham. We will assemble at 12 noon and, after a rally, the march will set off at 1pm.

The demonstration is supported by:
The PCS, NUJ, UCU and CWU, NUS, the Labour Represent
ation Committee, nationally, as well as many local trade union and campaign bodies.

Speakers include:

John McDonnell MP, Mark Serwotka,
general secretary of the PCS, Romayne Phoenix of the Green Party, Dr. Jacky Davis from Keep Our NHS Public, Birmingham Respect councillor, Salma Yaqoob, Linda Burnip, campaign co-ordinator Local Housing Allowance Reform Group, Dina Garane, Greek trade unionist and leading activist in general strikes, and Portuguese Left Bloc MP, Jorge Duarte Costa.

Supported by national unions - PCS, NUJ, UCU, CWU, NUS
Other sponsors of the march are - London Region FBU, London & Eastern Region Unite,

Unite Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, Unite IT & Communications National Sector Committee, Unite (TGWU Scotland Section), Scottish Housing Associations & Co-ops Branch, Unite Wembley/Hendon Branch, Tyneside Engineering Branch Unite; Birmingham, Ealing, Islington, South Gloucestershire, Wakefield, Sheffield & St Helens NUT Associations; PCS Central London Valuation;

Sheffield GMB S38 Branch;

Lancaster & Morcombe TUC; Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Preston, Barnsley, Cambridge, Huntingdon & St Neots, Plymouth, Camden, Ealing, Leeds & Nottingham, Dorchester/Weymouth, Portland, Colchester & District, Wakefield and Newcastle Trades Councils; South Central No. 1 Branch CWU, CWU Mount Pleasant Branch, South Yorkshire District Amal CWU Branch, Cambridge & Stevenage CWU; London Region UCU, Barnsley College UCU, Sheffield University UCU, Liverpool Metropolitan University UCU; Dundee UCU, UCU; Branch
Committee of University of East London Docklands UCU; Doncaster Unison, Lambeth Unison, Lewisham Unison, Oxford Unison Health Branch; Ealing Unison Branch, Southend on Sea BC Unison, Sandwell Unison, City and County of Swansea Unison, Portsmouth City Unison, Kirklees Unison, Rotherham Unison Health Branch, Sheffield Hallam University Unison Branch, Unison London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, UNISON Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust; City of Edinburgh Unison; Liverpool NUJ; Birmingham & Coventry NUJ;
Sheffield District All Grades RMT Branch;

South Yorkshire Brigade Committee FBU; Sheffield Green Party;

Cambridgeshire Against the Cuts; Local Housing Allowance Reform Group; Refugee Workers' Cultural Assosiation;

Westefield and Halfway Tenants and Residents Association; Birmingham Friends of Moseley Road Baths Campaign; Stop the War Coalition, Hackney Stop the War Coalition; Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition; Defend Council Housing; Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group.

Demonstration supported by London Region CWU.

Transport to the Tory Party Conference Demonstration

Transport is being arranged from around the country.

Coach leaves from outside Dundee High School
12 midnight, on Saturday 2nd October
Contact 07805 590 391
Coaches leave George Square at 7am. For tickets ring James 07708 295 900
Unite Scottish Housing Associations branch coach leaves George Square at 7am. For tickets ring 07939 372 493
Coach leaves Waterloo Place,
5am on Saturday 3rd October
Contact 07753 624 630 or for tickets
Coach leaves Preston Adelphi Roundabout 8.30.a.m. Coaches organised by Preston and South Ribble Trades Council. Contact Mick 07748083254.

Wigan Unison coach pick ups in both Leigh and Wigan. £10 waged and free for Unemployed, students and school students. Day time contact Wigan Unison Office 01942 235797, any other time Dave on 01942 726223.

Hardman Street, Liverpool 9am, £5 unwaged/low waged, £10/15 waged. contact for details.
Coach tickets are £5 (unwaged/low waged) £10 or £15 solidarity. Coaches will depart at 10am from Chorlton Street, leaving Birmingham at 5pm (provisional).
For tickets ring Andy 07825 158 944 or Jamie on 07970724441
Coach leaves West Yorkshire Playhouse 9am.
For tickets ring Paris 07863 899 227
Coach leaves Dalton Square 8am
Tickets £8 waged, £2 unwaged
Contact 07944 142 876

Coach leaves Kingston House Bond Street Hull City Centre at 9am, returns at 4-30pm. Tickets cost £5. Please call 07985 169 934 if you want tickets.


The Barnsley coach(es) are currently backed by Barnsley College UCU, Barnsley NUT, Barnsley TUC. We are hopeful of getting support from other unions. Will leave at 9.30am outside Barnsley Town Hall. Telephone 07594 857 960.


Coach leaves Paternoster Row at 9am. Tickets £10 wages, £5 unwaged. Contact 07890 088 456
Coach leaves from Chesterfield Town Hall, Rose Hill. Tickets £10 waged, £5 unwaged. Contact 07778 480 484 or or

07575 747 637


Leaving Mansfield at 9.15 outside the Rosemary Centre & picking up in Sutton in Ashfield, Kirkby in Ashfield, Hucknall & Nottingham at 10am leaving from outside Salutation Inn on Maid Marion Way. Ring 07940 952825 for tickets.

Coach leaves Full Street at 10.30am
Tickets cost £7 waged, £4 unwaged
Contact 01332 382321

Norwich Right to Work Coach Sunday 3rd October: 8am Theatre Royal, 8.15am UEA - Coach to Birmingham to protest at the Tory Party Conference

£18 Waged, £15 Unwaged (returns 7-8pm).

Please reply to to confirm your place or call Nick on 07717504210.


Coach organised by Cambridgeshire against the Cuts, supported by Cambridge Trades Council and Huntingdon & St Neots Trades Council, Cambridgeshire Unison and Cambridge NUT.

Leaves Cambridge picking up in Huntingdon.

Contact Steve 07904 171413 or Tom 0771 2893552 or on line at

For coach details contact Ian on 07790 532 513

For coach tickets and details call Paul on 07747395927

Supported by Harlow Against The Cuts.
Coach picks up at University of Essex at 8am, Colchester Town Centre 8:30am. Tickets £20 waged/£15 unwaged. Email or call Nathan on 07855928749 to book tickets.

Plymouth & Exeter
Plymouth Trades Union Council formally agreed to support the RtW Campaign and the 3rd October Demonstration and put on Transport - coaches to Birmingham will leave Plymouth Bretonside Bus Station at 8am on Sunday 3rd October, with pick-ups at Grenada Services, Sowton Exeter at 9am. Tickets are £15 waged, £10 unwaged and can be purchased in advance at or phone or text: 07803 620390. 07544822759
Contact 07544822759 for coach details & tickets.

Brighton coach departs 7.30 am at St Peter's Church, Richmond Place, Brighton. For tickets contact 07886308520

East Kent

Margate Cecil Square 7.30am

Whitstable Library 8am

Canterbury West Station 8.15am

Ticket prices £20 waged/solidarity, £10 unwaged

For tickets email:

Or ring 07768192687

West London
Coach leaves Ealing Broadway station 8.30am, picking up at Uxbridge station 9am. Ring 07751742370 for tickets and details.

North West London
Coach leaves Kilburn Square 8am, picking up Brent Trades Hall (Apollo Club) 8.20am, and Brent Town Hall 8.45am. For tickets an details ring 07951 084 101.
Central London
Coach leaves Euston at 8am.
For tickets contact Robin 07883860682
North London
Islington coach departs from outside Islington Town Hall, Upper St Islington at 8am. For tickets contact Adam 07535675350.
Haringey coach will leave Tottenham & pick up in Wood Green, contact Keith 07803167266.
East London
Coach leaves 8am from Mile End bus terminal (Junction of Grove Road and Mile End Road).
Coach leaves 8.15am from Stratford Stanstead Express bus stop (outside Stratford station).
Contact 07810 000 083.
Coach provisionally leaves Hackney Torn Hall 8am
For tickets ring Despina 07932714833
Waltham Forest
Coach leaves Walthamstow Central Station 8am, Tickets £10 unwaged, £15 waged, £20 solidarity price. Contact Sam 07961337640
South London
Southwark Town Hall 7am
Lambeth Town Hall 8am
Tooting Broadway 7.30am
Clapham Junction 8am
Woolwich DLR 7.30am
Lewisham station 8am
For tickets ring Rob 07930953265
Coach leaves 9am from Laura place, Bath

Tickets £10 waged, £5 unwaged

Contact for more info

We as Trade Unionists Call on People to Go to Birmingham

We want this to be a day where we can let Cameron and his toff Tory party know that we are not going to accept his cuts. The Tories are using the recession as an ideological weapon to push through cutbacks on a scale never seen before. They want to slash £11 billion from benefits, cut at least 25% from all government departments and impose a pay cut for millions of workers in the public sector.

We are sick of hearing from the Government that we are all in this together and must all accept cutbacks and tighten our belts. The rich caused this crisis, they should pay for it. The Tories along with the Liberals are coming for working class people while letting the rich get richer by slashing the level of corporation tax. In Northern Ireland we are faced with huge cuts coming directly from Stormont. They are looking to push through £1billion of cuts in the public sector.

Despite statements to the contrary from politicians, these cuts will have a massive impact on frontline services- with more closures of hospitals schools and other public services as a result of the cuts. If Cameron and the Tories have their way they will raise the retirement age to 70, attack millions of public sector workers and completely decimate the services we rely on. That is why we need people to get on the bus to Birmingham on October 3rd- to make it clear to David Cameron that we are not going to lie down while he wrecks the lives of millions. Instead we are ready for a fight back – a fight to defend jobs, services, workers and to defeat the cuts they are looking to impose.

Signed by

(All in a personal capacity)

Jimmy Kelly Regional Secretary Unite

Jim Barbour National Executive Fire Brigades Union

Jimmy Donaghy Shop Steward Unite

Gerry Mulaney CWU

Jim Reilly CWU

Gorreti Horgan UU Lecturer

Brian Kelly QUB Lecturer

Joanne Smit NIPSA

Ryan McKinney NIPSA

Dominic Murray Unison

Branch 8 NIPSA

Jim Larmour Unite

Naomi Connor NIPSA

Ryan Wilson NIPSA

Paddy McGinley NIPSA

Gerry Carroll Unite

Michael Black USDAW

Sean McVeigh NUJ

Friday, 17 September 2010

British unemployment figures spark union warning !

The difference between the trade union movement in the UK and government is a truly remarkable thing to observe at the moment.
Not because their policies and whole approach are at variance - that should be a given and it would be disturbing if they were not - but because of their own internal dynamics.

In this TUC Congress we have been treated to a solid display of unity with very few exceptions. Grouping around the defence of the public sector and the absolute rejection of the government's cuts programme to answer the bankers' crisis, the leading lights of the trade union movement have treated us to a display of solidarity which has been laudable.
Public-sector unions have warned the coalition government against future spending cuts after new figures revealed a rise in unemployment.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that the number of jobseekers' allowance claimants rose by 2,300 in August to 1.47 million, the first increase since January.

A previous rise in employment to July was due to economically inactive people such as students finding work, rather than unemployed people getting jobs, the ONS said.

In particular the ONS said more students may be taking on part-time jobs alongside their studies.

Unison argues that the rise in unemployment is just the tip of the iceberg and is set to spiral following big public-spending cuts to be outlined by the government in its October spending review.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: "We know that there is worse to come in the next few months as the government wields its axe on the public sector.

"The government needs to invest in jobs to keep the economy moving as cutting spending could lead to a double-dip recession. A realistic alternative to the cuts agenda would include taxing the banks, big business and the super-rich."

The rise in those on jobseekers' allowance will cause concern as experts warn the private sector may not be strong enough to compensate for the 600,000 public-sector jobs expected to go over the next five years.

PCS national officer for the Department of Work and Pensions Martin John said: "What's important for us is to aim to curb further rises in unemployment to come as the government prepares to attack front-line services."

It now remains to translate TUC Congress unity into action, and it seems that the movement has run out of patience with government by big business, whether it's dressed up in new Labour or Con-Dem coalition costume.

In marked contrast, the coalition government seems unable to agree even among its own ranks.

Backbench Lib-Dem dissent is growing steadily stronger over the government's class-war cuts policies, although it would be a serious mistake to put too much faith in that bunch of fair-weather friends.

But, more significantly, the Tories are finding huge difficulties even agreeing with each other, and the disagreements are showing up in their disjointed and confused policy positions.

Take, for example, the position adopted by the House of Commons defence committee on the Strategic Defence and Security Review yesterday.

We already know that Chancellor George Osborne has insisted that funding the Trident nuclear weapons programme must be funded out of the MoD budget.

Yet the government has deliberately excluded the cold-war overkill weapon from the review.

Which means, even in the words of the Tory-dominated MPs committee, that the review will be contradictory and not fit for purpose.

It warned that "the department could end up with only short-term priorities, misaligned resources, a barely reformed acquisition process and a structure short of manpower to deliver good performance and improperly configured for its tasks."

Now, far be it for me to lecture the Tories on what defence priorities should be for a country engaged in insupportable wars across the globe for strictly imperialist ends. It's not exactly our brief.

But you would have to be blind and stupid to ignore the impact that the huge Trident budget will have on conventional forces and it's not surprising that even the Tory chairman of the defence committee is scathing in his assessment of the government's decision.

Everybody outside government realises that Trident has played no part in Britain's wars but soldiers and their families have been complaining about inadequate conventional equipment. The coalition insistence that speedy and indiscriminate cuts are essential has driven it into confrontation, even with its own MPs.

CND has, unusually, applauded the committee's stance, which should of itself give Tories pause for thought. It has also pointed out that the impact of replacing Trident will be to cause a reduction in defence jobs, which must concern the engineering unions.

But the biggest message of the mess that the government has got itself into is that the coalition is, itself, unfit for purpose and incompetent in government. Apart from cutting everything in sight to pay for the bankers' crisis, it has no policies worth reviewing and thus no credibility and no future.

It is vulnerable to a concerted and unified campaign to destroy its cuts programme and, by the look of Congress this week, the trade union movement may be shaping up to deliver exactly that.

And it would be wonderful if that campaign also got rid of the anti-human and irrelevant nuclear weapons programme into the bargain.

My interview at the British TUC Congress by DOW JONES in New York

MPC Hopes To Retain Trust Despite High Inflation


MANCHESTER, England -- The Bank of England is facing the biggest challenge to its credibility since it gained independence over monetary policy in 1997.

The BOE's Monetary Policy Committee is charged with keeping inflation at 2.0%. But for 41 months out of the past 50, price growth has been above that level, and the central bank admits it will continue to exceed its target until the end of next year.

That contrasts with the U.S., Japan and the euro zone, which have all recently flirted with consumer price deflation.

In its defense, the BOE cites a series of temporary factors that have kept the inflation rate high, even as the economy entered a deep recession, and then began a sluggish recovery.

They include high commodity prices, rising import prices as a result of sterling's depreciation, and increases in the sales tax. Indeed, a further hike in the latter to 20% from 17.5% at the start of 2011 is one reason why the inflation rate won't fall back to target in the early months of next year.

Charles Goodhart, a professor at the London School of Economics and a former member of the MPC, said "everybody appreciates that's a one-off that the Bank is not really going to be held responsible for."

But he added that the BOE is running out of excuses.

"Nevertheless, they really have been saying too often "We're going to get it down within the next two years," and if they don't get it down by the end of 2011, a lot of fairly nasty questions will start to be asked," he said.

The central bank seems aware of its vulnerability.

In his opening statement at the quarterly Inflation Report in August, King felt the need to preempt questions on whether the BOE was serious about keeping price growth at 2.0%.

"Over the past three years, inflation has been volatile and above the target for much of the time. That does not mean that the MPC has taken its eye off the inflation ball, nor has gone soft on inflation. We have not," King stressed.

Speaking at the Trades Union Congress in Manchester Wednesday--the first appearance by a BOE governor in over a decade--King turned on the charm, talking of the injustice of banks being bailed out by the taxpayer while workers suffered.

But inflation was conspicuously off the agenda.

"We at the Bank of England and you in the trade union movement should work together," King said. "It will require patience and determination on all our parts, including your members. But the prize of restoring and maintaining economic stability--and a return to sustained rises in employment and living standards--will be worth the effort."

In the euro zone, the European Central Bank speaks explicitly about a contract with the unions, whereby policymakers keep inflation low, and workers don't demand unreasonable pay awards.

While the BOE doesn't use the language of social partners and solidarity that is common in continental Europe, its success in controlling inflation over the longer term is just as dependent on winning and keeping the trust of the general public.

The existence of an inflation target is supposed to reassure workers that prices will on average rise at that moderate pace every year. In turn, the BOE hopes that workers will not demand big pay rises that are intended to cushion them against unpredictable surges in costs.

But if the inflation rate remains above target for a long period of time, the danger is that workers will lose faith in the central bank, and start to demand much larger wage increases.

The official union view is polite and understanding.

"Trade unions know that if the bank was to get tough on inflation, that would mean higher interest rates, which would reduce economic growth and increase unemployment," said Nigel Stanley, head of campaigns at the TUC.

That "would be extremely bad news for people at work and in many ways make it even less likely that unions could bargain for higher pay increases to keep up with inflation. It would probably be a loss-loss game."

But in the audience, workers were feeling the pinch.

Richard Jacques, a secretary from England's East Midlands, said he was angered that King had the "audacity" to come to preach to the unions.

"He's making the pound worthless in our pocket," Jacques said. "The cost of a loaf of bread, the cost of petrol. Yet we as workers are expected to take a pay cut in real terms. We still have to drive our car; we still have to buy the petrol to drive it; we still have to feed our kids. And we are not supposed to go on strike apparently."

There are some signs that workers are beginning to assume that inflation will be high in the future.

A quarterly poll released by the Bank of England Thursday showed the U.K. public expected prices would increase by 3.4% over the next 12 months, up from 3.3% in May and marking the highest rate since August 2008.

In contrast, longer-term inflation expectations--which the central bank watches more closely--have been relatively stable, and private and public sector pay growth has been subdued.

For one former MPC member, the BOE has not yet lost the public's trust.

"The issues for credibility are how well the central bank is able to communicate why inflation is volatile and how it is setting policy to get inflation back to target," says Kate Barker, who worked at the BOE for nine years until this summer.

"While the period of above-target inflation poses some risk to credibility, the indications from most measures of inflation expectations are that so far this risk has been managed successfully," she said.

---By Natasha Brereton, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 20 7842 9254;