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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Unemployment, poverty, hunger & homelessness all on the increase in Europe !

More than 26 million men and women unemployed across Europe, more than a quarter of the workforce jobless in Spain and Greece. Youth unemployment rates around twice as high.

In Spain almost 240,000 people lost their jobs in the first three months of the year, according to the national statistics office.

Unemployment in the Eurozone as surged to a fresh record high, while inflation has fallen to a three-year low, in a desperate bid the European Central Bank look set will cut interest rates.

The unemployment rate in Greece is the highest among European Union countries, according to data released by Eurostat today, which showed that joblessness in the eurozone had reached record levels.
The number of unemployed Spaniards has risen beyond 6m for the first time since records began.  In France unemployment has set a new record, rising for the 23rd month to 3.2m in March, surpassing a previous peak in 1997. The total including all those seeking full-time work rose to 4.7m.

The Eurostat figures pointed to 27.2 percent for Greece and 26.7% for Spain workforce being unemployed.

Youth employment, defined as those under 25, hit 3.6 million in the eurozone. In Greece, 59.1% of under-25s were unemployed as of the end of January, while in Spain, 55.9% were unemployed.

Many countries have seen unemployment rise as austerity measures fail & following the financial crisis have led to cuts in government spending, which has involved public sector job losses.

The Eurostat data released related to figures recorded in March 2013 with regard to European Union - EU and eurozone countries, whereas in the case of Greece the figures related to January 2013.

Last week in Spain it was announced that unemployment had reached a record high - more than six million. The government forecast that the economy would shrink another 1.3% this year - worse than expected.

There are 1.9
out of 17m Spanish households in which no-one has a job, according to the latest unemployment figures. They receive state benefits of 426 euros (£358) a month and rely on food handouts from the International Committee of the Red Cross 

In the eurozone area the unemployment rate reached 12.1 percent in March, compared to 12 percent in February and 11 percent a year earlier, while in the European Union, comprised of 27 countries, the rate remained unaltered from February at 10.9 percent.

The highest unemployment rates in the European Union were recorded in Greece (27.2 percent in January 2013), followed by Spain (26.7 percent) and Portugal (17.5 percent).

The lowest rates were recorded in Austria (4.7 percent), Germany (5.4 percent), Luxembourg (5.7 percent) and The Netherlands (6.4 percent).

According to the data released, Greece’s unemployment rate rose from 25.7 percent in December 2012 to 27.2 percent in January 2013. The January 2013 figures represented 23.9 percent of the male workforce and 31.4 percent of the female workforce.

You could be forgiven for thinking that it couldn’t possibly be much worse – but you would be wrong.

A useful Eurostat overview (here), based on the 2012 results of the European Labour Force Survey shows, in addition, a worrying degree of and rising trend towards underemployment and hidden unemployment.

Let’s start with the standard international definitions used by Eurostat according to which the unemployed are all those without work but actively seeking it and available for work in the short term. The unemployment rate is this number divided by the sum of the unemployed and the employed. There are other categories, though, that can sensibly added to this figure.

First of all there are the part-time workers who actually want, and would be able to work, longer hours. In fact more than a quarter (21.4%) of the 43 million part-timers in Europe want longer hours. That percentage is up from 18.5% in 2008.

It is also worth noting that in Germany, widely seen as having a robust labour market and, according to some, even suffering from labour shortages, there are 1.8 million workers in this category.

An additional 8.2 million are available for work but at the time of the survey are not actively seeking. These are known informally as “discouraged workers” who are assumed to recommence job search once labour market prospects pick up. Then there is another, smaller category of people who, conversely, are seeking work but are not immediately available (for example because they have a job offer that starts in the near future).

There are 2.3 million in this group, meaning that more than 11 million people are not in the unemployment statistics – they are considered to be “economically inactive” or out of the labour force – but can reasonably be counted in a broader measure of underemployment.

This is up from 9.7 million in 2008. Adding these two groups together, Eurostat calculates that there is an additional unused labour supply of 4.6% in the EU27 and 4.9% in the euro area. In Italy, where unemployment is already extremely high, these two groups represent almost three million people and more than 12% of the labour force.

Using these figures we can make a rough and ready calculation of the “real” rate of underemployment in Europe.

According to the European Labour Force Survey, average hours of part-timers are just under twenty per week, whereas full-timers work 41.5 hours a week.

It's guess work on how the working time preferences are distributed, but a reasonable starting point would seem to be to assume that those part-timers wanting longer hours have the same average hours as all part-timers and that they want to move to the average of full-timers. In other words we add somewhat more than half of the 9.2 million involuntarily part-time workers to the unemployed total.

We then add the people in the two sub-groups of the economically inactive both to the numerator (unemployed) and denominator (unemployed plus employed).

In summing up - the unemployment rate captures only about two-thirds of the extent of European underemployment. Or the unemployment problem is perhaps half as bad again as you already thought.

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copy to: EAPN - European Anti Poverty Network CGT European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) CGTP

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

'Conservative' architects of Bedroom Tax & Welfare Reforms ..... Evicted !

Conservative government ministers behind the bedroom tax got a dose of their own medicine on Saturday when hundreds of campaigners turned up at their mansions to serve eviction notices.

Activists led by the UK Uncut protest group doorstepped bedroom tax architects Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud. Hard-hitting but good-humoured protests were also held outside the Cheshire home of  Chancellor George Osbourne in Brixton and Birmingham.

Around 400 people descended on millionaire Lord Freud's eight-bedroom mansion on a private road in Kent and carried out a mock eviction with the support of removal vans and dozens of cardboard boxes.

Disabled activists also targeted Mr Duncan Smith's five-bedroom luxurious 16th century Buckinghamshire pad, which has its own swimming pool.

The bedroom tax threatens to force social housing tenants who have "spare" bedrooms out of their homes if they can't afford a £14-a-week cut to their housing benefit.

The group said two out of every three homes hit by the bedroom tax have disabled people living in them.  Speaking at the protest social worker Isabella Young said: "A room for foster children or teenagers or a disabled partner might be spare for people who live in mansions but not for anyone else."

She said the £14-a-week may seem like spare cash in the pockets of millionaires but it is the difference between adequately feeding a family and staying warm.

EVICTED by the people !!

Lord Freud creator of Bedroom Tax & Iain Duncan Smith secretary Department for Work and Pensions received an 'Eviction Notice' from UK Uncut on behalf of the people !

Hundreds protested over the bedroom tax & benefits cap at Lord Freud’s £1.9million home and 20 disabled activists staged a protest outside Iain Duncan Smith’s country mansion in Buckinghamshire worth more than £2million.

We promise, we will ‘bring resistance to the homes of high profile politicians pushing the cuts’. Lord Freud, the Tory peer and former investment banker, has spearheaded the bedroom tax, cuts to the Welfare State and the introduction of the Universal Credit. He also has an eight-bedroom mansion in Kent.

Disabled activists, from Black Triangle & Disabled People Against the Cuts, presented Iain Duncan Smith with an eviction notice at his five-bedroom, 16th century house which includes a swimming pool in Swanbourne. IDS has presided over the implementation of unprecedented cuts of the Welfare State which are hitting disabled people particularly hard. It’s recently emerged that 17,000 blind people will be hit by the bedroom tax. Houses are likely to have been specially adapted and blind people are particularly isolated if they are forced to move to new areas which they do not know how to get around.

At the London protest at Lord Freud’s house, an estimated 400 people attended the protest where children were read a Freudian bedtime story, a removal van unloaded sofas and an eviction notice was served. UK Uncut supporter Sarah Knight whose mother is losing money because of the Bedroom Tax said: “My mum has just found out that she will have to pay the bedroom tax. My family is terrified about what’s going to happen. People’s hearts are being broken as this government is turning Margaret Thatcher’s wildest dreams into a nightmarish reality. But this protest is not about Thatcher’s death, it’s about the ongoing assault on the welfare state.

“I am too young to remember Thatcher as a Prime Minister but people like me are having our childhoods and now adult lives decimated by this government that continues to punish poorer people to improve the lives of the rich – the bedroom tax is the latest example of this. And that’s why I’m here today – it’s made me really happy that we are resisting these devastating cuts, showing we will not stand for it.”

From outside Ian Duncan Smith’s country mansion Disabled People Against the Cuts activist Eric Robson said: “This month sees the latest round of government attacks on disabled people. Two out of three homes affected by the bedroom tax have disabled people living in them, the beginning of the end for DLA, council tax changes, no legal aid for benefit appeals and the ongoing discredited WCAs mean millions of disabled people will be poorer – and still have the same barriers to work and society. There is no strategy in place to address this except forced labour and sanctions. Yet hundreds of millions are handed to profiteers like Atos and Capita to make this happen.

“We are calling on this government to stop this war on benefit claimants, public services and low paid workers. We are calling on our communities, disabled and non-disabled people, workers and claimants, unemployed people, single mothers, pensioners, students and everyone who cares about social justice to oppose these cuts. We will not be written out of the story of our own lives.”

Isabel Young, who works with vulnerable women said in a speech to the crowd “A room for foster children or teenagers or a disabled partner might be spare for people who live in mansions but not for anyone else. People are being forced to pay £14 a week for having this room, again this may be spare cash in the pockets of millionaire politicians, but it is the difference between adequately feeding a family and staying warm, and for some it will mean choosing between a hostel or the streets.“

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Abolish Bedroom tax or prepare for"Peoples Revolution 2013" Anti Bedroom Tax Protest in Scotland Labour Against the Bedroom Tax Bin the Bedroom Tax Dundee

Friday, 12 April 2013

Millions on the Dole in Thatchers Britain - Her Legacy !

People March for Jobs 1981
With the death  Margaret Thatcher & her funeral next week expected to be around the £10 million mark , we remember the victims of 'Thatcherism' & her legacy

Just two years into her job as prime minister in 1981 the 'Peoples March For Jobs' was organised (the first post war national demonstration against unemployment in Britain)

The March was a protest against mass unemployment and the huge waste of human lives. The hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who supported the broad aims of the March - and participated - was proof of its success in mobilising public opinion and public activities against the scourge of unemployment, poverty and despair.

It all seems a long time ago now , but under Thatcher unemployment rose from 1.5 million to 2.5 million in 12 months. Joblessness among ethnic minorities rose even faster, up 82% in one year. It was a spring and summer of discontent, with riots in inner city areas around the country.

The TUC People's March for Jobs was an attempt to put pressure on the Conservative government to do something to redress the problem.

The People’s March for Jobs in 1981 was massive - it culminated in Hyde Park and was made up of many young people who had come from all over Britain.

The 1981 People’s March for Jobs was initiated by the Merseyside County Association of Trades Councils, but the idea of a Liverpool to London protest march against unemployment was supported nationally by a wide range of bodies and feeder marches from Yorkshire and South Wales were organised. The March echoed the unemployment demonstrations of the 1930s.

Around 280 marchers left Liverpool on May 1 but 150,000 attended the final rally in Hyde Park, London on May 31. In London, the marchers slept in the County Hall, then the home of the Greater London Council, and a petition with 250,000 names calling for a change in Government economic policies was handed in.

Michael Foot Labour leader with Marchers

During the march, Labour MP David Winnick drew attention to the plight of those who were without work, pointing out that 6,000 people were joining the dole queues every day while 400,000 had been out of work for more than 12 months.    

Unemployment continued to be a major economic problem, blighting people’s lives for years to come. Thatcher refused to budge & there had to be a second 'Peoples March for Jobs in 1983'. On their arrival in London, the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher refused to meet a deputation. The march was organised through the Wales TUC and Scottish TUC's and the TUC regional councils.

People March for Jobs 1983
The main march route was Glasgow to London, but feeder marches were organised from Lands End, Great Yarmouth, Liverpool, Hull and Halifax, so that many more localities could be involved in the demonstration.

The 'Marchers' did not get the media response they deserved. This, and the call of  Thatcher to hold an early, snap general election on June 9th caught most by surprise.

The general election announcement was made half-way through the March; unfortunately it led to a loss of support for the March from the trade unions and the Labour Party as they had to prepare for their election campaigns. Around 60 marchers set off from Glasgow on April 23 but the numbers had grown to 500 by their arrival in London on June 3. There was a festival at  Crystal Palace on June 4 and a rally in Hyde Park attended by over 100,000 on June 5.

Iron Lady begins to 'Rust'
The 1983 March was the first post-1945 protest against unemployment to be both nationally and regionally organised - 50 representatives from each of the 10 regions of Britain marched to London in four main contingents; by way of contrast, in 1981 there were only three regions represented on the March. 

The 1981 and 1983 Peoples Marches For Jobs helped break the cycle of despair, demoralisation and negative individual responses to unemployment and poverty. In March 1984, the National Union of Miners began a national strike for the right to work, against pit closures and mass sackings - Thatcher continued with contempt & arrogance, her economic policies continued ruthlessly - pits forced to close & miners joined us on the 'dole queue'   .

Group supporter of Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants and a National Union of Mineworkers (Great Britain) member & miner David Douglas gave an impassioned speech at a demo aimed at Margaret Thatcher's legacy, thousands took part in the demo & rally in London - Saturday, 13 April 2013.  Margaret Thatcher - Iron Lady ..... Rust In Peace !!

President Ken Gill talks about
Margaret Thatcher and her impact on Britain's economic and political sovereignty national industries for profitTUC President Ken Gill gave his address to the TUC Congress in 1986.

Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it : Is history about to repeat itself ?

With unemployment now rising at an alarming level yet again under David Cameron & the Conservatives, benefit claimants face unprecedented attacks: this week saw £19 billion pound worth of cuts on benefits for the working-age poor and disabled, while the rich won a tax bonus.

More info: Demolition of the Welfare State in the UK: 
low income households will be struck by a multitude of government cuts starting this week.

Mass unemployment has become a real scourge in the exploitative societies and a source of the gravest social calamities. Politically, it threatens to undermine the gains of the working people in the capitalist world, and causes a mounting frontal offensive by conservatism.

The present situation in 2013 has glaringly shown the connection between unemployment and poverty, as tens of millions of families in the capitalist societies are hit by both. The problem of unemployment . . . affects not only the millions thrown out of their jobs, but whole communities.

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher & Her Legacy !

Important Message regarding the funeral next Wednesday of Margaret Thatcher & demonstrations that are planned against it !

Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants urges group members to 'not attend' & save your energy for the real 'fight' against the ideas of David Cameron.

The fight against those ideas of Thatcherism continues within today's Conservatives.

Therefore we will not be in London on the day of the funeral. We will not participate in 'violence or disorderly protests' on that day. We will however be having an on-line tribute in memory of the victims of Thatcherism.

We will decide the time & place, not Thatcher, not
Cameron & not the Conservatives - this government is trying to provoke us into a response, to futher demonise & ridicule. Our time will come & let them run in fear - we will save our energies & fight united with trade unions in battle at the right time.

United we stand, divided we fall

A £10 million pound funeral planned for Margaret Thatcher - Please sign the on-line petition.!

We say NO WAY  !!

                                                 The Battle for Orgreave

This is what Thatcher and Thatcherism did to our people.

Our on-line tribute will be for:
* The Unemployed thrown onto dole
* The Miners
* The Shipbuilders
* The Steelworkers
* The Old that Froze to Death
* The Old that Couldn't Afford Food
* The Thousands Made Homeless because of the 'Poll Tax       .
* The North
* The Disenfranchised­ Black Youth
* The Lost Generation of Young
* The Hillsborough families
* The men dead in a conflict designed to win her an election
* The men traumatised from the Falklands War
* Northern Ireland

* OUR my mam and dads
* OUR Grandparents
* OUR brother & sisters
* Every LGBT kid who committed suicide due to Section 28 in schools
* The teachers
* The victims of gaybashing which were never investigated due to pressure from her government
* The gay men stitched up and banged up for being gay

* The women of Greenham Common who were beaten and had their kids forcibly taken into care for no reason!
* The men and women assaulted in the Battle of the Beanfield!
* The men and women consigned to the scrapheap
* The services that used to belong to all of us and now PRIVATISED & are badly run in the hands of the rich
* The country that used to stand for social justice and created The National Health Service
* The mentally ill thrown out on the streets
* The children abused in care homes and ignored or worse abused by some in her government

On the day of her funeral - We remember the real victims of Thatcherism & conservatism.

It's not wrong to 'speak ill' of the dead if they did wrong & did ill deeds to others in life. It is right that we work to combat the legacy they created going forward - to progress we must remember & understand that past - NOT forgive & forget.

This does not make us negative or ignorant -it means we learn from history & apply those lessons in the present & future !!

                                                                  Tony Benn - The Issue is Thatcher!
A £10 million pound funeral planned for Margaret Thatcher - Please sign the on-line petition. - We say NO WAY  

Glenda Jackson MP - House of Commons 're-called parliament' debate on Thatcher - April 10th.

TUC President Ken Gill talks about Margaret Thatcher and her impact on Britain's economic and political sovereignty national industries for profitTUC President Ken Gill talks gave his address to the TUC Congress in 1986.


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Monday, 8 April 2013

PROGRESS & Blue Labour - the end of the British Labour Party !!

Trade union activists & unemployed alike call on the labour party leadership in Westminster today to stop meddling in local party affairs following interference in the Falkirk by-election selection process.

What an utter disgrace, we have a Labour Party demonising benefit claimants & trade unionists on a daily basis - agreeing with the Conservatives on the 'cuts agenda. Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants stands shoulder to shoulder with Unite the Union in defending the reputation of trade unionists & benefit claimants alike.

We're sick & tired of the language & the PR spin from Blue Labour & the right wing organisation within the labour party Progress - enough is enough, why on earth should we ask our members to vote & support a labour government when that political party fundamentally fails to understand the ethos behind ...... 'RESPECT'.

The scandal comes in light of a report to the national executive of, allegedly detailing that party officials intended to produce a new shortlist of candidates.

The Campaign for Socialism (CfS) said it accepted and supported Unite's case that it had not been allowed to see the allegations made in the report.

CfS secretary Paul McFarlane said he hoped party HQ would leave Scottish Labour Party to resolve the dispute.

He indicated that the row was "all the more frustrating" given the recent front-bench appointments of MSPs Neil Findlay and Drew Smith - both The People's Charter supporters with trade union links.

But leader Ed Miliband's recent return to austerity rhetoric suggested "a co-ordinated rearguard action" to sever Labour's union ties instead.

The labour leadership & the NEC are not the sole proprietors of the 'labour party' the party was created by trade unionists, workers & ordinary people alike, to give ordinary people a political voice in parliament.

The labour party use to belongs to the 'labour & trade union movement' as a whole - it seems the right wing have stolen our political voice - This is a sad day indeed !!!

Labour Party has handed 'Falkirk Report' to police this afternoon
(5 July) “After consulting the party solicitor yesterday we will hand our Falkirk report and other evidence to the police this afternoon.”

Len McCluskey, the leader of the country's biggest union, Unite - Denounced the party's own “investigation” as scandalous in its shortcomings, McCluskey said in a letter to the party general secretary Iain McNichol that the report was: "Simply a ‘stitch-up’ designed to produce some evidence, however threadbare, to justify predetermined decisions taken in relation to Falkirk CLP.

"The report has been used to smear Unite and its members. Even if the allegations of people being signed up to the party without their knowledge were true, this had nothing whatsoever to do with my union.
"It is noteworthy that members of the shadow cabinet have been in the lead in initiating this attack upon Unite. Have they had sight of this report while I, the leader of the union put in the frame, has not had the courtesy of a copy?

"The mishandling of this investigation has been a disgrace. I, however, am obliged to uphold the integrity of Unite, and I can no longer do so on the basis of going along with the activities of a Labour party administration in which I can place no trust.

It all started when Lord Mandelson, or Baron Mandelson of Foy, as he should be referred to since he was packed off to the House of Lords by a small cabal, accused the Unite Union of ‘manipulating selection procedures’ in the Labour Party. He then went on to start a crusade against the UNION, warning Ed Miliband that this ‘stores up danger for a future Labour government’.

It was refreshing to read the fulsome riposte delivered by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey in The Guardian newspaper at the time. In our opinion, the active involvement of trade unions has led to a more diverse selection of candidates being selected.

Mandelson spoke at  a conference organised by the ‘Progress’ organisation, which is financed primarily by Lord Sainsbury, a former supporter of the breakaway Social Democratic Party SDP in the 1980s. ‘Progress’ has been heavily engaged in 'dictating' candidates to be selected in a number of constituencies.

Who are these MP's that seek to forced Ed Miliband to lurch to the right in - stereotyping benefit claimants & attacking our trade unions ?  Unite and the GMB are keen to see more working class candidates and union members selected to stand for Parliament - this seems to be at odds with the agenda being set by 'Progress'.

Rochdale MP since 2010 Simon Danczuk said: “If you’re involved in politics and don’t know anyone who chooses to live on benefits instead of working, you need to get out more”. Simon Danczuk wrote in
The Sun a 'gutter rag' newspaper, which is a supporter of the Conservatives : “The Left has to accept there are some people on the dole that don’t want to work, and we need to have a plan to get them into work.”

Labour MP Frank Field also attacks benefit claimants, he criticises the benefit cap calling it “a mega sum” in his constituency. He added: “We have been there before and we’ve ducked it before. So the real question is, as Labour now moves towards the general election, are we going to have an alternative?”

The following comment made by : SIMON DANCZUK, Labour MP

George Osborne says we need a welfare debate. I’ve got news for the Chancellor — it’s already happening. The word on the street in my constituency is way ahead of Westminster — and the Left of my party.

There are plenty of people capable of working in Rochdale that have been parked on benefits for years. There is nothing to be proud of watching people’s potential waste away, trapped on a life of benefits.

The Left has to accept there are some people on the dole that don’t want to work, and we need to have a plan to get them into work. Those trapped in welfare dependency will never experience the satisfaction of a hard day’s work.

Simon Danczuk defended George Osborne’s harsh benefits reforms on TV recently - were not his finest hour. In acrimonious exchanges — during which Danczuk launched repeated attempted ad hominem attacks on Owen Jones — the Rochdale MP backed changes which would leave many poor people at the mercy of foodbanks and payday lenders by repeating the mantra:
“we have to build self reliance amongst people”
His lack of compassion towards those finding themselves out of work is all the more surprising given his recent first hand experience of the devastation wrought by redundancy.

Having been hit hard by cuts affecting his public sector clients, Danczuk was forced to put the research firm he owned into voluntary creditors’ liquidation in June 2011 – with eighteen people losing their jobs.

OUR Conclusion:

Maybe Simon Danczuk  was not aware of a recent YouGov Survey produced within the last few days - asking if people could live on £53 per week revealed a resounding 70% said they could NOT!

Meanwhile 38% of 'Conservative VOTERS' said they could live on £53 and those earning over £70,000 per year were more likely to say they could.

Obviously the Conservatives & those like Lord Mandelson, Simon Danczuk & Frank Field are 'out of touch' with the general feeling of the people & their perception of benefit claimants is that of a minority.

Labour needs people from diverse backgrounds who are rooted in the Labour Movement, are trades unionists & ordinary members of the public - those who have struggled on benefits, those who have been forced to survive on the breadline - to create a real 'Labour Party' !

There is currently a cancer within the Labour Party, that cancer is: Blue LabourProgress  ! A 'party' within the Labour Party - a right wing' think tank that tries to set the agenda - they are trying to force the leadership of the party to the 'right' & in 'dictating' which candidates should be selected for elections in a number of constituencies.

Expel Blue Labour & PROGRESS !

'Progress' are the ones behind the 'demonisation' of trade unionists & benefit claimants within the party. These MP's are pressurising and forcing Ed Miliband to lurch to the right & stereotyping benefit claimants.

Militant tendency was expelled from the Labour Party - it begs the question why dont they expel Blue Labour &  'Progress' ??


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International Appeal for Donations !

This is an 'International appeal for donations' - Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants are in urgent need for donations -

The fact is we need a banner for demonstrations. We desperately need equipment to function - we have operated for the last 6 years by the generosity of group members using their own finances & equipment for example: printing machine for leaflets, photo copier phone lines & internet access.

The amount you donate is up to you, every little bit goes towards helping our organisation to function - if a £1 is what you can afford then thank you.

We appeal to the international trade union movement to show solidarity & respect by donating to our cause - unemployment effects everyone in society.   


Cruel & vindictive government welfare cuts came into force this week, those cuts will heap even more misery on Britain's poorest. The Conservatives & Liberal Democrats assault will hit millions of families, with low-paid workers, the unemployed and disabled people bearing the brunt.

The tax and benefit changes will leave families nearly £900 worse off on average according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Meanwhile David Cameron and George Osborne are giving millionaires an average £100,000 tax cut."
The bedroom tax, changes to council tax benefit and the replacement of the disability living allowance will all have a devastating effect.UK's poorest households face a bleak April as they struggle to budget for all these cuts coming at once. People are already cutting back on the essentials of food and heating but there is only so much they can do.

The result will be misery - cold rooms, longer queues at food banks, broken families, missed rent payments and yet more people facing homelessness - devastating for those directly affected, but bad for us all.

This means OUR work will increase on a 'grand scale' please make a DONATION by clicking the 'DONATE' tab at the top of each 'blog page'

Group members of

'Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants' with GMB Remploy workers & Paul Kenny


Low income households will be struck by a multitude of government cuts starting this week, totalling more than £2.3 billion. The figures below represents how much will be cut from support for low income households compared to last year.

** Bedroom tax £490m

Council tax benefit localised and devolved budgets cut by 10 percent £485m
Local housing allowance annual uprate at CPI (instead of RPI) £90m

** Benefit cap introduced £290m

Tax credit disregard for in-year increases reduced to £5,000 £455m
Working age benefits and tax credits: uprating capped at one percent £505m

Total losses: £2,315m 

Read our blog: 'The Demolition of the Welfare State' in the UK it has started: 

Pictured: Josh & Seb - Group members & activists within 'Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants' on the 'March For A Future That Works' in London 20th October with the Unite the Union contingent .
OUR work will increase on a 'grand scale' - we NEED your help,  please make a DONATION by clicking the 'DONATE' tab at the top of each 'blog page'


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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Parliamentary 'representative democracy' - who do they represent ?

This week has seen the biggest assault on the 'Welfare State' since it's creation, causing unimaginable hardship for the British People - meanwhile the Conservatives & their MPs want a £31,000 pay rise !

the House of Commons  voted to ignore a High Court ruling on 'Workfare'!

Hundreds thousand benefit claimants we're robbed that day, as the Conservatives with the help of the Liberal Democrats introduced a 'Retroactive Law'

That retroactively change the law to undo a court judgement against the government. With the exception of only 57 MPs who voted against it, both the Government and the Opposition supported a bill which denied justice to 300,000 benefit claimants.
They rushed through a retroactive law to rob £130 million from the most vulnerable in our society who were due repayments of unlawful benefit sanctions.

Join Anonymous & 'Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants' &  as we 'March To Parliament' (Jarrow Crusade Anon Version)  This event will see Anonymous march to parliament as did the 200 men in 1936.  
British MP's in real terms 'stole benefits payment' from the people, ignored the will of the people & ignore the High Court, meanwhile those same MP's moan about having to struggle to make ends meet on £65,738 a year. The so-called Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) says 70% of MPs claim they deserve a +32% pay rise, potentially lifting salaries to £86,250.

Contemptuously a further 20% of MPs thought remuneration of at least £95,000 a year was deserving. Tory MP's think annual salaries should come closer to £96,740; Liberal Democrats thought the right salary was £78,361, while Labour members of the House of Commons  believe £77,322, is fair !

MP's on the Select Committee & those who 'chair' those committee, receive extra payments of up to £14,582. There are also other 'benefits' MP's have including childcare vouchers and greatly subsidised meals & a public bar. On average, across all parties, MPs want a 32% pay rise to £86,250.

In contrast benefit claimants are struggling to buy food, pay bills or 'even get the benefit payments'.  We are forced to work for free under 'Workfare' or risk benefit suspension for up-to 3 years.

In our opinion
the real 'benefit scroungers' sit in the House of Commons a product of a 'Benefit Culture' within the upper elite in Britain.

Our question is this .....  who does 'Representative Democracy' represent ?

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Friday, 5 April 2013

Asda's exploitation of benefit claimants - a trade union issue !

Asda Walmart - continues exploitation of British benefit claimants !

Our campaign will not end until you end your abuse of benefit claimants 'forced' to work for free.

These programmes mean unemployed people are compelled to work for their benefits - or their benefit is cut. These schemes punish the unemployed, attack all workers' wages and conditions and actually cause more unemployment, due to the replacement of paid workers by unpaid labour.

VIDEO: Black Friday solidarity action with Wal Mart workers from the USA with British campaigners at  ASDA supermarket in Longsight, Manchester, England.

** This is already happening to
the unemployed in America, 'free' slave labour for ultra cheap, they get a measly $200-$400 a month that works out at £132.74 - £265.56 in summing up Walmart get 20-30 hours a week they don't need to pay for, and people say we're not SLAVES! **

Benefit claimants forced to work Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve - Asda wanted to avoid huge wage bill by sending home paid staff!

If an unemployed worker is placed onto mandated unpaid work on threat of losing even the tiny income of £53/week benefits, they are in a position where they can easily be exploited.

Workfare workers were forced to work Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve while paid workers were sent home: 
A store with between 10 and 15 benefit claimants on DWP work experience noticed that not long after they started 'their unpaid work; - 'paid staff' were being sent home early while unpaid workers remained.

Trade union members & paid workers at ASDA & other work places will see their working hours reduced, their pay reduced & their jobs undermined - workfare is an issue for both those in work & those out of work. United together we must defend those who face exploitation !


Welfare changes this April saw local authorities take over the running of Emergency Welfare Loans and Grants, formally know as the Social Fund Budgeting Loans & Grants, which are meant to help people deal with crises such as leaking roofs, broken boilers and lack of food.

The Department for Work and Pensions said it would no longer administer social fund payments centrally, Birmingham City Council said that, unlike other councils, it had decided not to give out small one-off cash grants and loans from its newly devolved £6.1m fund.

Instead repayable loans would be placed exclusively on 'Asda pre-payment' debit cards.  

Labour Party controlled authority said the cards – which
Asda said were similar to their gift cards – would restrict spending to a list of predetermined goods, which would exclude tobacco, alcohol, phone-related expenditure and fuel.
Birmingham City Council, which represents around 1 million people, said that from 1 April Monday it would give out 'Crisis Loan' payments in the form of prepaid cards that could be redeemed ONLY in Asda supermarkets.

A 'Crisis Loan' from the social fund has to be paid back by benefit claimants, but you can only spend the money in ASDA !

Boycott ASDABoycott WORKFARE - defend those who face exploitation !

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