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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts - Tomorrow! (14/4)

National Day of Protest

Whatever you do tomorrow stay safe and stay angry.

Let's give it a last push, please tweet, share etc one last time and make this the biggest event yet.

For all those who can't make it person to a demo don't forget to join the Armchair Army or Troll A Tory to make your feelings heard.

Armchair Army

National Troll A Tory Day 3 and Rat On A Rat!

And don't forget, with the week of action against atos starting on May 9th, this is far from over.

Here's the latest list of events taking place tomorrow, with Dundee and Newcastle confirming today.


Thursday April 14th 2-5pm

Churchill Square Brighton


Thursday April 14 · 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Benefit Cuts Hurt Protest - 3rd National Day of Protest

Government Buildings, Flowers Hill, Bristol, BS4 5LA


Thursday April 14 - 12.30
Protest 14/4 at the bandstand in Burnley town centre from 12.30 onwards, everyone welcome, bring homemade placards and banners. Called by East Lancs Right to Work


Protesters should gather at Caledonian House, Greenmarket, Dundee, from 12.30 on Thursday 14th April for a peaceful but lively protest against the abysmal role of private company Atos Healthcare in administering unfair tests which force sick and disabled clients off benefits.


Thursday April 14th - 11am - 1pm
ATOS, York Place (near top of Broughton St)
Edinburgh protest against ATOS


Thursday, April 14 · 1:30pm - 2:30pm
ATOS 'Health Care' Corunna House 29 Cadogan Street
Glasgow Anti-Benefit Cuts Leafleting outside Atos


Thursday, April 14 · 10:30am - 2:00pm

Meeting @ Leeds Train Station 10am before moving to picket ATOS from 10:30 for an hour then move onto A4e/BEST for a couple of hours. The last picket was a great success and we hope to have another good day. Bring banners, flags etc.


Thursday, April 14 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Atos Origin ‘Healthcare’ Ltd, Scotland HQ Livingston, Appleton Parkway – Eliburn

Please contact: for details of travel and transport if you are attending this event.


Thursday, April 14 · 8:30am - 9:30am
Islington Protests Against Benefit Cuts

There will be a protest at 8.30am to 9.30am outside the Atos Healthcare assessment centre at 1 Elthorne Road, just off Holloway Road, 2 minutes walk south from Archway tube.

Thursday, April 14 - 2pm
Protest Outside The Daily Mail - Stop the Defamation - Stop the Lies

Daily Mail Headquarters, Young Street (off Kensington High Street), London W8 5TT

Protest Outside Westminster City Hall & Mass Food Give Away!

Thursday, April 14 · 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP


Protest against Benefit Cuts:
2pm, Thursday 14th April 2011 at Monument, Newcastle upon Tyne
called by Disabled People Against Cuts North East and Tyneside Claimants Union


Outside the Jobcentre at noon. Everyone welcome!


Thursday, April 14 · 11:00am - 4:00pm
Lemon Quay Truro

In line with the third National Day of Action against benefits cuts Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance will be staging an awareness demo in Truro.

and then Cardiff on Monday 18th April - 2:00pm - 8:00pm

Cardiff Unemployed Daytime Disco
The Rockin Chair, Lower Cathedral Road, Cardiff

message from (Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Strike To Hit UK Jobcentres This Month !!

Thousands of Jobcentre Plus staff are to stage a 24-hour STRIKE later this month in an increasingly bitter row over working conditions.

We, as Unemployed Workers' (job-seekers) MUST stand shoulder to shoulder with the union who are trying to defend a public service for us claimants.
Many claimants will have suffered at the hands of some of the staff, but this groups notes that NOT all staff are in the Union & the PCS Union has always defended the rights of benefit claimants, unlike this government & the previous labour government.

Governments have tried to force job centre staff to treat claimants in a contemptuous manner by harassing claimants, giving incorrect advice & much more, those same staff have no understanding of solidarity & the PCS union does not support treating benefit claimants in such way..

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union based in over 30 call centres will walk out on April 18 after accusing management of showing "little willingness" to resolve the dispute.

In a ballot of the union's 7,000 members in the call centres, 70% of those who took part voted for strike action.

The action follows a two-day strike in January by more than 2,000 workers in Jobcentre Plus's seven newest contact centres, who complain of being forcibly moved from processing benefit claims to handling inquiries by phone.

The union says its main complaint centres on "unrealistic" average call times while it is also seeking more flexible working arrangements.

Jane Aitchison, the union's Department for Work and Pensions group president,said: "We are being prevented from providing a good quality service to the public because of unnecessary and unrealistic call centre targets.

"We entered into negotiations in good faith because we care about the help and advice we give to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

It's very disappointing that our management didn't do the same."

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka claims standards are being driven down at Jobcentre Plus as a result of Government spending cuts.

He said: "Instead of punishing people who are claiming benefits through no fault of their own, the Government should be investing in our public services to help get people back to work quicker and to help our economy to grow."

The union says among the call centres taking part in the strike will be those in Glasgow, Dundee, Newport, Bridgend, Bangor, Sheffield, Halifax, Norwich and Southend.

Also those in Newcastle upon Tyne, Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Coventry, Exeter and Bristol will be affected.

A Press Statement from the PCS Union: Jobseekers should not be penalised by unfair targets.

Jobcentre staff should not be forced to refer jobseekers to have sanctions imposed to meet cost-saving targets, PCS says.

Following the story in the Guardian newspaper that claimed jobseekers were being tricked into having their benefits taken away, the unions have written to Jobcentre Plus management to ask for urgent clarification.

In an interview with Sky News, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith dismissed the story as "claptrap" and officially the Department for Work and Pensions denied targets were being applied.

But many of our members have reported they are being instructed to make at least one referral a day, even where there are no legitimate grounds.

In the west midlands, for example, advisors have been told they must make five stricter benefit regime referrals a week, one of which must be a refusal of employment.

We are urgently seeking clarification from management what the official position is and whether local offices have discretion to set targets about referrals for sanctions.

We do not believe that targets should be applied and we have made it clear that our members are concerned that the story raises accusations that advisors are acting maliciously.

Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants

Monday, 4 April 2011

UK Government attacking benefit claimants

Today in the UK, saw the first moves in the coalition's supposed crackdown on sickness benefits for 1.6 million claimants, with the initial 7,000 letters going out calling them in for reassessment of their ability to work.

UK Employment Minister Chris Grayling has been almost beside himself with glee recently, claiming that trial results in Burnley and Aberdeen indicate that around half a million people could be reclassified as fit for work over the next three years, with another 600,000 potentially employable given the right support.

Now, seeing that this means that Mr Grayling can drop them from invalidity benefit onto the considerably lower jobseeker's allowance, he looks to make a considerable saving in his department's budget.

Well, good for Mr Grayling. He will probably get himself a gold star from Chancellor George Osborne for savings above and beyond the call of duty.

It won't, of course, do a damned thing to help the claimants themselves.
Disability activists, claimant groups and anti-cuts campaigners have called a week of action against Atos Origin beginning on Monday 9th May with a picnic and party in Triton Square*, home of their head office, at 2pm.

Atos Origin have just begun a £300 million contract by the Con-dem Government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’ on all of those claiming Incapacity Benefit.

It is claimed assessments are to test what people can do rather than what they can’t.
The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible.

This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer.

Plans announced for the scrapping of Disability Living Allowance have also revealed that this intrusive testing is likely to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit.

To date around 40% of appeals against Atos Origin’s decisions have been successful.

On the 24th January claimants from around the country demonstrated outside Atos Origins premises, with many choosing to close for the day rather than face their 'clients'. We call on all groups around the UK to take action against these parasites who have been dubbed 'the racial purity and euthanasia arm of the DWP'

A list of Atos Origin's corporate offices can be found at:

Atos testing centres are listed at:

If you are holding an event, protest or action in your home town please add details on the wall below to have your event added to this page and the website. Alternatively contact us at:

In the meantime the Third National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts is taking place on Thursday April 14th. Visit the facebook page for more info and help spread the word:

*Triton Square is on the North side of Euston Road, just over the road from Warren Street tube and less than five minutes from Euston/Euston Square or Great Portland Street tube stations.
It will reduce the paltry amount on which a large percentage of claimants are forced to exist by around 30 per cent, leaving them in even more trouble than they are already in.

It will affect their lifestyles and standards of nutrition so drastically that those already ill but reclassified as fit for work will see their health deteriorate rapidly, taking them back into unfit classification, but even more ill than they were previously.

Meanwhile, will those who manage not to fall back into serious illness happily join the ranks of the working millions, pulling in a good wage and turning their lives around?

Sorry, but there's precious little chance of that.

It's much more likely that they will merely join the ranks of the 2.5 million already unemployed, because there isn't any sign that this government is putting money into growing the economy.

Quite the reverse, in fact. The cuts elsewhere are due to take and are already taking billions out of the economy, leaving job creation a very remote possibility indeed.

Which, in one way, is a useful get-out for this government because it actually couldn't afford to have the newly classified working people getting jobs.

After all, at the same time it is proposing to turn the private sector loose on job placement, rewarding privateering companies with fees of up to £14,000 each for finding work for clients.

Too much success there and the government could be billions out of pocket, something that it really wouldn't be too happy with.

And the Tories and their Lib Dem cronies can't rely on the apparently increasing state pension to release more money into the economy and stimulate growth.

Because they are emphatic that there won't be any new money and that the higher state pension will be funded simply by removing additional means-tested benefits from the menu.

Which is not the same thing as removing the humiliation of means testing from the system.

In fact, it means removing additional benefits from those who need them and distributing them across all pensioners, leaving those with greater needs with less resources in many cases.

The "simplification" of the pension system, as with the benefits system, appears to mean no more than cuts for those at the bottom of the heap.

Iain Duncan Smith says that removing pension credits means the removal of a huge "disincentive" to save.

Perhaps someone needs to remind Mr Smith that the biggest disincentive to saving while in employment is low wages and no leeway to make savings.

Yet another day of phoney promises, then, and yet another set of Tory attacks to be fought off.
National Week of Action Against Atos Origin

UK Government 'distressing benefit claimants'

New benefit process 'distressing claimants'

The national rollout of benefits reassessment is causing widespread distress among incapacity benefit claimants with mental health problems, the charity Mind warned today.

In a new survey 87 per cent of people said that the prospect of reassessment had made them feel anxious and more than a third said that it had led to them increasing their medication.
The charity said that it was concerned the current Work Capability Assessment was not fit for purpose and called for a slowdown of the reassessment process "until the test is working fairly and effectively."

Chief executive Paul Farmer said: "We believe that the welfare system should support everyone - with dignity - who is unable to work or requires additional support because of a mental health problem. If someone is able to return to work, there should be personalised assistance and support to help them do so."

The survey was based on the responses of 316 people with mental health problems receiving the benefit, conducted between March 18 and 28. .