Unemployed workers offer Triage ‘sanctions award’ in occupation protest


Scottish Unemployed Workers Network occupy Dundee ‘employability training’ office

UNEMPLOYED workers occupied ‘employability training’ offices in Dundee this morning (Tuesday 18 October), in protest against sanctions referrals issued for alleged non-attendance of training appointments.

The Scottish Unemployed Workers Network (SUWN) shut down the offices of Triage Central Ltd in Dundee, after they were repeatedly contacted by unemployed people reporting they had been referred for sanctions after failing to attend training appointments they say they were never informed of.

During the occupation activists attempted to award the office manager with an IDS (former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith) ‘award’ for “boosting” the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sanctions rate, but she could not be found. Triage are an employability training firm who are contracted by the DWP for their services.

SUWN certificate for Triage

SUWN activists left the Triage offices after Police Scotland officers attended the scene shortly before 12pm. No arrests were made.

CommonSpace attempted to contact Triage in Dundee for comment, but their offices had been closed in the aftermath of the occupation.

SUWN are campaign for radical changes to the way unemployed and disabled people are treated by the benefits system as the Scottish Government assumes more control over welfare with the devolution of further powers and the creation of its new social security system.

Speaking to CommonSpace, SUWN organiser Sarah Glynn said: “We want to make sure that when the Scottish Government takes over training schemes they are completely different and exploitative companies like Triage become history.”

A member of the occupation, Norma, said: “We're here because these people make money out of other people’s misery.”

Scottish Government ministers have promised to tackle the most aggressive aspects of the DWP’s regime in Scotland, including sanctions and assessments for disability payments.

Police Scotland were unavailable for comment on their operation at the scene of the occupation.

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