Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

New Jarrow March for Jobs.

with 9 comments

Jarrow marchers in Trafalgar Square, London, 5.11.11, photo  Socialist Party

Jarrow marchers in Trafalgar Square, London, 5.11.11 (from Here)

A group of activists who recreated the famous 1936 Jarrow March for Jobs completed their journey on Saturday.

They were joined by hundreds of supporters as they finished the 330-mile trek from the north-east to London to highlight how government cuts were “affecting everyone apart from the rich”.

Dozens of people took part in the march to London, where a rally was held at Temple and in Trafalgar Square.

Youth Fight for Jobs, which organised the march, handed in a petition to 10 Downing Street calling for a huge government job scheme, apprenticeships, the reinstatement of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the reopening of axed youth services and action on tuition fees.

Lizi Grey, whose great-grandfather Michael McLoughlin took part in the original march 75 years ago, was among those taking part in the protest, which started on 1 October.

The 17-year-old college student from Gateshead said: “The stories I’ve heard from his son – my grandfather – were that they were very well received in all of the towns that they went to, and we have had the same experience.

“I think a lot of that has to do with communities feeling that the cuts are starting to bite and it’s affecting everyone apart from the rich and the people making the decisions.”

She added: “It’s taken us five weeks to march the whole 330 miles but it feels amazing.”

In 1936, 200 jobless men marched from Jarrow in north-east England to London with a 12,000-name petition calling for government action to create jobs.


Some people from Ipswich went to the London Rally. We will ask them to tell us about it.

And this:

Around 200 anti-capitalist protesters entered Parliament Square as they linked with a group supporting activists who had recreated the famous 1936 Jarrow March for Jobs.

Police made nine arrests as the demonstrators – some of whom wore Guy Fawkes masks to mark bonfire night – were contained outside the Houses of Parliament.

Earlier around 20 young people finished the 330-mile trek from the North East to London to highlight how Government cuts were “affecting everyone apart from the rich”, and they were joined by hundreds of supporters for a rally in Temple and at Trafalgar Square. More Here.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

9 Responses

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  1. The Future of Work

    With Christmas approaching, the Royal Mail is taking on 18,000 temporary staff to help cover the extra work. This happens every year. This year, though, all job enquires are being directed to a company called Angard Staffing Solutions Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Mail. It doesn’t just handle temporary staff over Christmas. There appears to be no way to get a job as a postal worker these days except by going through Angard.

    The normal contract is for 38 weeks (less for the temporary Christmas workers). Staff are employed by Angard but seconded to the Royal Mail. They are required to do any work that their Royal Mail manager requests, though they are officially supervised by an Angard manager. They are not guaranteed any regular hours, and have no fixed place of work (though they will not be required to work outside the UK). They will not be paid for hours they do not work. For this they will be paid the minimum wage: £6.08 an hour (£4.98 if you’re under 21).

    In other words, they will do exactly the same job as a Royal Mail employee, but for £2.78 an hour less. They could be sitting around waiting for a telephone call for days on end, to get only a few hours work a week. They can be moved from site to site and job to job at will. If they turn a job down, for any reason, they can be dismissed. Night workers are paid 50p extra an hour.

    On 1 October the EU Agency Workers Regulations came into force in the UK. These give agency workers the same rights as permanent employees after 12 weeks. However, by employing the agency workers directly through a subsidiary, the Royal Mail appears to be able to side-step the regulations. The guidance for employers from the government says:

    Those who are likely to be outside the scope of the regulations include… individuals working for in-house temporary staffing banks where a company employs its temporary workers directly (and they only work for that same business or service).

    All other agency workers have had their contracts cancelled and replaced by Angard contracts. In many cases workers have had to wait weeks to be paid. One Angard worker told me it took over a month for him to get his first pay cheque. He said that the management are virtually impossible to get hold of and that if you ask them a question they fob you off. On several occasions he was given shifts which were cancelled when he turned up for work. The excuse? They were double-booked.

    The Royal Mail denies it’s trying to get round the regulations. ‘The company is fully compliant with UK employment law,’ it says, ‘and any suggestion that Angard Staffing Solutions has been set up to, in some way, get round the new Agency Workers Regulations is nonsense.’

    Still, Angard staff are not covered by agreements made with the union, and although they have the right to statutory holiday and sick pay, their conditions of employment are, by definition, less secure than their permanent colleagues’. It seems certain that only compliant employees will be kept on for more than 38 weeks. With unemployment on the rise, and jobs ever more scarce, is this the future of work in the UK?



    November 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    • Absolutely, a mate of mine who’s worked for the Royal Mail before at Christman is livid about it.

      Andrew Coates

      November 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    • dbg846004 says:
      6 November 2011 at 11:47 am

      I totally agree with everything written in this post and I really feel sorry for all the casuals working with Royal Mail through Angard Staffing. I know many people working in same situation and not being paid correctly/weekly as mentioned in the contract and when they try to contact Angard, they are being told that they did not get the time sheet from Royal mail and when they try to contact Royal mail they are being told that any query regarding sallary must be asked to Angard staffing because they have no concern about their sallary.
      I also don’t understand the fact that after Angard tookover the casual employment from Royal mail why the sallary was reduced. Before this action was taken the sallary paid to the casual employees was bit more than what is being paid now. Also its very annoying that for the same job the permanent employees are being paid much more and also they do not work as much as casuals do because the casuals have the fear to loose the job whereas if a manager says anything to a permanent employee they threaten the manager that they will complain in the union against them.
      All together I just feel sorry for all those casuals affected by this action and hope that someone will come in front to help them in this situation so that they get a fair justice and good pay for the work they are doing


      November 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    • I’ve had one 8hr shift in nearly 5 weeks 😦

      Postal Worker

      November 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  2. Unemployed risk losing benefits, says David Cameron

    David Cameron announces scheme that will force people in government employment programme to do community work

    People unable to find a job after two years in the government’s work programme will be forced to do community work or face losing benefits, under a pilot scheme announced by David Cameron on Tuesday.

    Cameron said anyone unable to find sustainable employment will be required to undertake at least 26 weeks community work lasting 30 hours a week in order to secure continued receipt of Job Seekers Allowance.

    The scheme will be piloted in four areas before it is planned to go nationwide at broadly the same time as the introduction of the universal credit in 2013.

    The former Labour work and pensions secretary James Purnell had proposed something similar in 2008, but it did not become law.

    Ministers have alighted on 30 hours since they say this will be enough to familiarise the unemployed with the world of work.

    Cameron told the liaison committee of MPs; “Have we created a benefit system that has insufficient responsibility at its heart? My answer is ‘yes we have’ which is why we need to change it”.

    He complained the average time spent by some people looking for work on JSA is just eight minutes a day. “I don’t think that is sufficient,” he said.

    Employment minister Chris Grayling added: “If people who are fit for employment, still haven’t managed to find a job after the intensive support provided by the work programme, we want them to do community work and get into the habit and routine of work. No one should expect to be able to sit at home doing nothing.”

    He said that under the work programme the government was willing to spend £14,000 per long-term unemployed to find work. The still nascent work programme, largely adminstered by the private sector and voluntary groups, is designed to help the unemployed find work with help on job searches, advice on job applications and sometimes work experience.

    The number of jobless likely to be forced into community work to hold onto their benefits is relatively small – the number of people out of work for more than two years is currently in the thousands.

    Cameron made the announcement at a wide-ranging session of the liaison committee, broadly themed around the subject of the Big Society and the aftermath of the summer riots.

    He also defended plans to increase the amount of benefit that can be withdrawn from a claimant if they break the law and are fined. The government has announced it intends to increase the maximum benefit withdrawal from £5 a week to £25 from 2013, the point at which universal credit is introduced.

    He said “otherwise the man in work is forced to pay a fine whilst the person next door who is living on benefits gets off much more lightly”.

    Critics claim the work programme comes perilously close to a form of compulsory work. From June job centre advisers can instruct claimants to undertake work placement activity. Participants are expected to spend up to 30 hours a week, for four weeks, on their work activity placement and will be required to continue to look for work.

    “Every work placement will offer the jobseeker the opportunity to gain fundamental work disciplines and will be of benefit to the local community,” the DWP said. Customers who fail to complete a placement without good cause will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance for a minimum of three months.


    The Guardian

    November 9, 2011 at 1:00 am

  3. Ingeus to force people into six months unpaid labour

    Today it was brought to our attention that Ingeus (owned by city financiers Deloitte) have two very disturbing features on their Work Programme regime:

    1. Unemployed people will be forced to do six month long workfare placements
    2. They will also be put into “peer-run” groups which will encourage unemployed people to discipline and report on each other.

    This from an Ingeus tender document:

    Stage 4 is designed to provide additional support and increased conditionality for those who are still searching for work after a year on the programme. Customers will be introduced to a group of peers who will meet at least once a week to support one another with job-search activities and to maintain focus. At each weekly meeting (led by a Group Facilitator) customers will jointly review progress and plan activities for the next seven days. Our Placement Broker Team and subcontractors will utilise their links with employers and local volunteer bureaux to source a tailored six month community work placement mandatory for JSA customers that fits with each customer’s job goal.

    Read a claimant’s personal account of what Ingeus has to offer.


    Boycott Workfare

    November 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

    • Boycott, looks like this is going to be general practice, for even longer sentences – see latest post (thanks Guardian comment).

      Andrew Coates

      November 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

  4. It’s really nice.

    Edward Quartey

    December 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm

  5. Angard staffing are an absolute disgrace,no manners,no communication from them and no definite way of contacting them.Hang your amateur heads in shame.I’ve a good mind to invoice them for all of the wasted time and resources.What a useless,lazy,unprofessional and ignorant bunch you really are.

    Andrew jolly

    December 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

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