Members at DWP Sheffield Eastern Avenue Jobcentre have taken 6 days of strike action to fight the closure of their office. The strikes on Friday 2 June and for the full week Monday 12 to Friday 16 June were really well supported. There were great picket lines outside the office with up to 45 members, reps and supporters from the community.
Mark Serwotka spoke at Rally
PCS General Secretary spoke at a rally in support of the campaign to keep Eastern Avenue open on Monday 12 June. The well attended rally was chaired by DWP Group President Fran Heathcote. Other speakers included the Labour leader of Sheffield council and speakers from Unite Community an inspiring speaker from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC). The rally emphasized that the key reason for fighting the office closure is to defend the service to the many vulnerable people in the local community.
Another week of strike action next week
Since the last strike the DWP have confirmed the decision to close the office. PCS members are even more determined to carry on the campaign and there will now be a further 5 days strike action from Monday 17 July to Friday 21 July. Branches are encouraged to support the picket next week.
Further submissions welcome
In line with PCS conference policy the Group Executive Committee (GEC) is fully committed to fighting these closures by any means necessary, including strike action. To help us fight a coordinated campaign the GEC will welcome strike submissions from branches facing office closures.
Support and donations
Many messages of support have already been received. Further messages of support should be sent to Leeds@pcs.org.uk Donations to the PCS Fighting Fund should be sent PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY.
Reps and members are encouraged to make regular donations to the PCS Fighting Fund to support this and other future disputes. The suggested donation is £2 per month. For details of how to set up a donation to the PCS Fighting Fund please see this link to the PCS website http://www.pcs.org.uk/campaigns/fighting-fund