1) Only 1 in 40 new jobs since recession is full time
While the government have put huge spins on employment figures, claiming it is now below 2m, the growing issue of low pay and in-work poverty is shining light on the fallacy of government success.
“Now, the TUC has revealed that only one in forty new jobs created since the recession is a full-time post. The number of full-time jobs has fallen by 669,000 since 2008 and part-time workers now make up 38% of the workforce. Underemployment – part-time workers who desire a full-time job to maintain a decent standard of living – now stands at 1.3m, double what it was pre-recession.”
Add to this the fact that workfare placements are counted in employment figures, that sanctioning – which has rocketed under the coalition – is lowering the number of people counted as claiming JSA, and the other great massage of figures – the ‘self-employment’ dupe.
26 out of 40 new jobs are in self-employment. Zero hour contracts add to this, but rather than being some self-asserting means of employment it is used to undermine employment rights through a removal of access to holiday and sick pay whilst also increasing insecurity at work. They also allow companies to avoid taxes (and we all know how much they like doing that). The IPPR released research in August which ‘called the strength of the UK’s economic recovery into question, dubbing Britain the “self-employment capital of western Europe”. Self-employment has grown by more than 1.5 million workers in the last 13 years, now standing at 4.5 million – more than 15% of the labour force.’
— I’m a JSA claimant (@imajsaclaimant) November 13, 2014
And thank you to @AnitaBellows12 for highlighting the DWP definition of ‘full time work’ in this FOI request –
“A jobseeker can work for less than 16 hours on average each week, and the partner of a jobseeker can work 24 hours or less each week before they are considered to be in full time work and not eligible for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA).”
2) Jobcentre threatens man with sanctions for talking to demonstrators
A jobseeker was told he would face sanctions for talking to a group of demonstrators who stage actions outside the jobcentre in Ashton Under Lyne. Ironically, their action is aimed at the punishing nature of sanctions and aim to help those who have been unfairly treated in the government’s target lead sanctioning regime.
They have released a transcript of the jobseeker’s interview.
“I walked into the Jobcentre for my regular signing on appointment. They asked me to wait in the waiting area. They checked my action plan and said everything was ok. The advisor then said can I ask you what you were doing outside the Jobcentre on Thursday? I said I was talking to the people outside who were demonstrating. She then tried to get information out of me by asking lots of questions. I refused to answer. She then got annoyed because I wouldn’t tell her what I said to them and what they said to me. She then said “well do you really know what you are getting yourself into?”” We and and will sanction you for talking to them. We will sanction you for standing with them or even talking to them.”
And if you are still in disbelief that sanctions are a discriminatory method of removing people’s means to live, read this account of a jobseeker receiving a sanction after 67 jobseeking actions in a fortnight.
3) Inequality is the biggest challenge for the world, say experts
The World Economic Forum have released a new report revealing that inequality is the biggest challenge facing the world in the next year.
The WEF highlighted:
“In developed and developing countries alike, the poorest half of the population often controls less than 10 per cent of its wealth. This is a universal challenge that the whole world must address.”
The Top Ten trends identified by the WEF were:
- Deepening income inequality
- Persistent jobless growth
- Lack of leadership
- Rising strategic competition
- The weakening of representative democracy
- Rising pollution in the developing world
- Increasing occurrence of severe weather events
- Intensifying nationalism
- Increasing water stress
- Growing importance of health in the economy
4) Care UK strikers in Doncaster celebrate pay deal after 90 days of strikes
More than 60 carers for the disabled celebrated last week after a pay deal put forward by a private equity owned employer looked to end the industrial action.
NHS workers who had been transferred to work for Care UK were facing cuts to wages of 35%.
This win is incredibly important for the social care sector, “where the privatisation of services, and involvement of private equity owners, has corresponded with pay being driven down across the country.”
After 90 days of strikes, Care UK offered an immediate 2% pay rise, increasing by 2% again in 2015 and 2016.
5) Counter terrorism police visit journalist over fracking film
A journalist following the protest movement against fracking received a knock on the door from counter terrorism police, calling into question the protection given to the private energy companies looking to cash in shale gas extraction in the UK.
6) Benyon family sell investment in New Era estate following protest
After hundreds of protestors joined with residents of the New Era estate to march against rent price hikes, Britain’s richest MP, Richard Benyon and family have opted to sell their investment on the estate.
Benyon was exposed for slamming welfare claimants and the ‘something for nothing’ culture whilst he quietly pocketed over £100,000 in housing benefit from his properties.
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