PCS’ DWP group executive committee has received a copy of the letter from Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, to Damian Hinds, Minister of State for Employment, on the closure of the DWP offices in London. In particular, the London Mayor has opposed outright closure of jobcentres as a failure to “address inequality and tackle disadvantage” in the city.
The letter echoes the demand put forward by the GEC and taken up by MPs, MSPs, AMs and local councillors to properly assess the impact of closures on the disabled, and to run a proper consultation, though it falls short of the union’s demand to guarantee no compulsory redundancies.
Our Left Unity-led GEC continues to use all avenues to organise and fight against the massive attack on our staff, in Jobcentres, Service Centres and especially the 2,000 corporate centre staff who don’t work in or near proposed “corporate centre hubs”. That there are no hubs proposed in Wales, Scotland or huge swathes of England risks these jobs, and guarantees a huge impact to DWP, if the staff are forced out into other roles, despite being specialists.
The GEC has organised a lobby of parliament on 28th March, and on Saturday, marches and demonstrations will occur in multiple parts of the UK to protest the plans, including Glasgow, Sheffield and especially in Barrow, where 80 staff could lose their jobs if DWP don’t withdraw their proposals. LU member and DWP group President, Fran Heathcote, will be speaking at the rally in Barrow to give the clear message that this GEC is fully opposed to compulsory redundancies and that the employer can be pushed back.
There are 11 hotspots around the UK most at risk of job losses and a reps meeting from these sites has now been called to discuss how to build the campaign.