Keep DWP Jobs at Durham House
The Government is taking 945 jobs away from Durham House in Washington.
They plan to close the site, and transition to Wear View House in Sunderland City Centre. This is a catastrophic decision, and Ministers need to rethink their plans NOW!
The Government joined us in clapping DWP workers as they worked hard through the pandemic – now they deliver a slap.
The 945 quality jobs represent 2% of all employment across Washington and Sunderland West and the move would be dreadful for the heart of Washington and for our Galleries’ small businesses. The Government doesn’t understand how important these jobs are to Washington – or maybe it doesn’t care.
The Minister’s letter to me said: “To reiterate – this announcement was unexpected for staff at Durham House Washington where the site not previously assigned a transitional status”.
This is the largest closure announced as part of a wider package announced by the Government on Thursday 17 March amounting to 1100 DWP job losses and 42 centre closures which will risk a further 7000 jobs, 1300 of which are in the North East.
Not only is the Government shifting DWP staff to a site half an hour away – but it is also putting the contracted facility staff’s jobs on a cliff edge. At a time of a cost of living crisis, this Tory Government is choosing to deliver a hammer blow to working people.
In closing DWP offices and taking away jobs in areas including at Durham House in Washington, the Tories’ rhetoric has been exposed as utterly hollow. They say they are levelling up, but the reality is closing down.
Ministers are cutting quality public sector jobs from local communities who need them, in the middle of a devastating cost of living crisis.
The viability of our high streets and transport networks depends upon people living and working locally. If the Government goes ahead with its plans, then we will all suffer. People may have to move away to find decent employment opportunities and our town centre will suffer.
It is clear that the Government’s actions are ill thought through and will make people’s lives harder. This is not levelling up!
“Both myself and my partner work in Durham House. I work for DWP and my partner is employed as a cleaner. We have 2 young babies and our working patterns currently suit our personal circumstances. She looks after the children during the day when I am at work and I look after them on an evening when she is at work.
I am the only driver so this leaves little time in between our shifts for me to drop her off at work.
I also work in the office full time, working in Durham House for 21 years and moving to Wearview House will have a massive financial impact on us, in excess of £100 per month just for parking plus the extra travel and expenses on top.
This would also put a massive strain on our childcare.
My partner is currently unaware what will happen with her job. Excess travelling for her would be both impractical and financially not viable. She has worked in Durham House for 26 years.
We live in Washington and spend money in the Galleries daily as well as large monthly shops.
Closing Durham House will also impact local businesses and Washington as a whole massively.”
“I hope you can help in keeping Durham House open.”