Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News and Other Busyness

Manchester Pansies Seize Job Centre

Squall 14, Autumn 1996, pg. 25.

Unemployed activists from the central Manchester campaign against the Job Seekers Allowance, recently took over Cheetham Hill Job Centre.

For two hours business at the Job Centre was disrupted, while two dozen marauding PANSIES (Political Activists Not-Seeking Employment Satisfactorily) circled the employment exchange, inciting Cheetham Hill claimants, heckling management and urging staff to black the implementation of the Job Seekers’ Allowance.

This Job Centre pantomime followed reports in the last issue of Freedom about the activities of manageress, Ms Joan Bainbridge. Ms Bainbridge has been accused of hectoring claimants and boasting that she had “put more people off benefits than any other manager in the North West”. Since the report Ms Bainbridge is said to have taken early retirement.

Mr Geoffrey Davis is the new zoo-keeper of what looks like becoming a Cheetham Hill bear-garden bequeathed to him by Ms Bainbridge. Conversations with claimants at the Cheetham Hill Job Centre seem to confirm the view that it was in danger of becoming a hell-hole.

Since the beginning of April, this Job Centre has been one of several used by the Government to inflict pilot schemes for the JSA on unsuspecting claimants, and for this reason it is now being targeted by the local PANSIES.

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Surviving The JSA - The new Job Seekers Allowance scheme is the strictest benefit system ever and designed to knock people off welfare. Andy Johnson lists a few ways to avoid the hatchet - in this issue