Welfare-to-work offices occupied by Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network

Members of the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network occupied the Dundee base of welfare to work office Triage.

They were protesting at the Albert Square office in the city centre over what they call the “punishment regime of the benefits system”.

Group leader Sarah Glynn said: “It is bad enough being unemployed, but people are being punished because they are out of work.”

She added: “This occupation is a protest against sanctions and slave labour and the whole punitive regime of which they are part.”

The protest lasted for less than an hour and ended when Police Scotland asked the group of protesters to leave the building, which they had accessed “without permission”.

Triage is an organisation created to help deliver a “back to work” programme for people in return for receiving benefits, similar to workfare in the United States.

Ms Glynn claimed Triage reports people to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if they do not show up to do what she described as “meaningless tasks” or jobs “that people should be paid for doing”.

Triage said it does not have “the gift” to stop or start anyone’s benefit.

Grace Kennedy, managing director of Triage Central said: “We strongly reject the suggestion that anyone is put into pointless or unpaid work.

“We’re very proud of our innovative approaches to employment and training that works both for individuals and the companies looking to employ them.

“We work with some of the largest employers in the country to offer people who have been unemployed find good, sustainable jobs.

“In Dundee we have had a number of success stories, with many people securing work in the construction sector on major local projects and in the hospitality and retail sectors.”

Triage Central specialises in providing support, training, work preparation and job opportunities to help people who currently receive benefits to go back to work.

Police Scotland said officers attended an incident and that there were no arrests made.

From- http://www.thenational.scot/news/welfare-to-work-offices-occupied-by-scottish-unemployed-workers-network.5321

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