Jobmatch, Blacklisting, Grand Jury Resistance: Mid-December round-up

A few quick updates on ongoing situations that I’ve been covering: on the Jobmatch front, there’s not much news at the moment, but a commenter on this blog claims that they’ve been told Jobseekers’ Agreements will be changed in January, making signing up and fully participating in Jobmatch a condition of receiving benefits. I haven’t heard anything that definite, but my adviser has suggested that, although Jobmatch isn’t compulsory right now, claimants who continue to refuse in the future will be sanctioned. The fact that they don’t feel confident to sanction people right now is a good sign; without the hostile media coverage putting the DWP on the back foot, it’s quite likely that people would already be being forced into signing up by the threat of losing their benefits. If the jobcentre does make participation in Jobmatch compulsory, it’ll make refusal more difficult, but not impossible: as long as claimants have the right to refuse to share their information, there’ll be some way to undermine the scheme.
It’s unfortunate that, at the moment, no-one seems to know if there’s any way for people who’ve signed up and ticked the box giving the Jobcentre access to their account to revoke their consent; if no-one else does, I might do a bit of research on the subject in the near future. I’ve already tried once, and been put off by how badly-designed and difficult to use the site is, but this is important information, so it’s worth having another go.
In workplace news, the Sparks rank-and-file network of electricians are still fighting back against blacklisting and poor safety standards on the Crossrail project in London. The dodgy safety standards at Crossrail were exposed again this week when a worker was injured in an explosion and, although it’s hard to find much about the story online, it looks as though large and militant protests against blacklisting are continuing, as the whole of Horseferry Road outside the Department for Transport was blocked off by a blacklisting protest on the 14th.
Finally, over in the North-West United States, the Grand Jury crackdown on anarchists continues. Maddy Pfeiffer appeared before the jury, refused to co-operate, and was ordered to report to prison on the 26th. Matt Duran and Katherine Olejnik still remain in prison for refusing to give up information on comrades; they could be released at any time if they rolled over and did what the state asks them to, but they’re staying silent. This is important, and it’s worth writing to them to let them know their bravery is appreciated. It’s likely that, from the 26th onward, Maddy will need similar support. Five people are now being charged with offences connected to the May Day protest in Seattle; there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of information on the case available yet, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the Seattle Anti-Repression Committee website for details as and when they become public.

About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
This entry was posted in Anarchists, Internet, Protests, Repression, Unemployment/claimants and welfare and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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