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attacks on working class

Policing Healthcare : the Immigration Act of 2014

Healthcare should be available to all. The need for care outweighs any excuse to restrict access to healthcare, for example whether they have the ability to pay or where they have come from. Yet the Immigration Act of 2014 is trying to reverse this. It affects many areas of life such as housing and health. The aim of it is to punish those who are vulnerable. It is part of an ideology that is racist, and aims to divert attention away from those who benefit from capitalism, stigmatising other areas of society.

This pamphlet, written by members of Brighton SolFed’s Health and Social Care Network, with support from Brighton Migrant Solidarity and Docs Not Cops, looks at how it is affecting the NHS and how it aims to make health workers do the dirty work of the government by policing the people they treat. This is through administrative oppression creating gatekeepers to health.

"The Secretary of State may select a claimant for participation in a scheme"

The title of this post is the sole criterion set down in the new workfare regulations regarding whom and under what conditions a person might be required to undertake one of the Government’s forced labour schemes (with the exception of MWA). Gone is the much vaunted ‘voluntary’ aspect that was used to defend the schemes for the last year; now, if you are a claimant it is now completely arbitrary whether you're forced to chose between wageless employement or the loss of your benefits. 'The benefits system has entered the State of Exception.'

These are schemes that are specifically aimed at providing free labour to parts of the private sector whose profits are hit by crisis. 

Workfare: what's your experience?

Are you unemployed and placed on one of the DWP’s Workfare schemes? Contact us.

The court recently judged the DWP regulations surrounding the workfare programme as unlawful. Claimants on any of the other schemes can now withdraw without threat of sanction and existing sanctions must be brought to an end. Unless the DWP wins the right of appeal, all those who have been sanctioned will be entitled to repayment of lost benefit and all referrals will have been unlawful.

However, the DWP is currently laying new regulations which could make all the workfare schemes lawful and mandatory. Added to this, we’ve had numerous reports of claimants being forced under threat of sanction onto the ‘voluntary’ schemes and there is no reason this won’t continue.

Workfare sanctions extended from today

The governement has today significantly increased the sanctions for non-compliance with the benefits regime, including the controversial unpaid, forced work 'workfare' schemes. Under a 'three strikes' policy, benefits will be stopped for three months, six months, and then three years for failing to meet a series of conditions, many of which relate to workfare. According to a notiification letter given to all JSA claimants, this includes:

How to Break Workfare Conference - Brighton, 26 May

May 26 saw the National “How Do We Break Workfare” conference in Brighton organised by Brighton Benefits Campaign, with attendees from groups across the country. The one day conference saw a variety of discussions and workshops on the various work for your benefits schemes about the UK

The Cairns Street blockade

Residents of Cairns Street, in Toxteth, yesterday defied private contractors coming to demolish houses as part of a "regeneration" scheme by blockading the street. The demolishers Lovell and the police were both foiled by the peaceful action, which will be continuing every morning from 8am whilst the threat of demolition remains.

The demolition of the houses first came on the cards in June, when Lovell won planning permission to knock down six houses in order to build three. Residents objected from the point of the initial bid, but their protests have been studiously ignored by the Labour council. A site visit won no concessions, and when a planning meeting was split over the issue councillor John Macintosh used his casting vote to take the side of the developers.

As one local resident told Liverpool Confidential;

Direct Action Against The Cuts

Public Meeting: Saturday July 16th, 1:00pm at Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester

The aim of this meeting is bring together activists fighting the government’s cuts to discuss views of ‘direct action’ and how to apply it to the current struggle. There will be a number of speakers, including one from SF who will present an anarcho-syndicalist viewpoint:

There has been a lot of talk in the anti-cuts movement about the importance of ‘winning the argument’. This strategy holds that the best way to go about fighting attacks on wages, living conditions and services is to point out the flaws in the pro-cuts arguments and suggest alternative policies which would avoid the need for cuts.

Some even seem to think that if the argument is won, the government will see the error of its ways, stop the planned cuts and everyone can go home happy.

Hacia a la Huelga General

Las organizaciones sindicales Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), Solidaridad Obrera (SO) y Coordinadora Sindical de Clase (CSC) nos reunimos el pasado 24 de junio en Madrid para valorar las respuestas que, ante el ataque sin precedentes que trabajadores y trabajadoras estamos sufriendo por la política de recortes y pérdida de derechos impulsada por el gobierno y las instituciones europeas, a instancias de la patronal y los mercados, debemos oponer en un proceso de lucha coordinada desde la unidad de acción y de clase.

Las distintas organizaciones sindicales participantes compartimos el rechazo frontal a unas políticas que, con las sucesivas reformas laborales, los recortes en el sistema de pensiones, la reforma de la negociación colectiva y los recortes sociales y en los servicios públicos, pretenden, una vez más, que sean los trabajadores y trabajadoras, y los sectores más débiles de la sociedad, quienes paguen la crisis capitalista.

Spain: Towards a General Strike

A joint statement released by our Spanish sister section, the CNT, along with several other Spanish unions (leer en español).

The unions Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), Solidaridad Obrera (SO) and Coordinadora Sindical de Clase (CSC) met on June 24 in Madrid to discuss how we can respond to the attack we the workers are under, an attack without precedents, one that bushwhacks our acquired rights, one made a reality by the government and European institutions, the bosses and the markets. How we can coordinate a struggle, and a response, based on class unity and action.

Asbestos: from magic mineral to working-class killer

July 1st is Action Mesothelioma Day, an annual event in which awareness is raised about the continuing suffering caused by asbestos-related cancer. Here a member of Manchester Solidarity Federation and the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group talks about the destructive effect asbestos has had on the lives of thousands of workers.

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