Monday 16 July 2012

Week of Action Hits Tory Workfare Profiteers

Last week’s National Week of Action against Workfare saw protesters across the country take the fight to companies using unemployed workers forced by the ConDem’s Workfare schemes to work unpaid or lose their benefits.

On the eve of the Week of Action, Holland and Barrett, a Workfare pioneer, pulled out of the Government’s Work Programme, having been the beneficiaries of 1100 unpaid workers over the past year.

They cited the protests as the reason for their withdrawal,  but in a statement that slanders anti-workfare protestors, the company accuses campaigners of abusing and assaulting their workers and damaging their stock.

When asked by the Guardian to provide evidence, Holland and Barrett could not point to a single criminal charge against a protester.

As Right To Work’s Mark Dunk said in a letter to the Guardian:

“The real violence is hugely profitable companies making even more money on the back of these labour schemes, while more than a million young people are left to rot on the unemployment scrapheap. Poundland, another workfare exploiter which recently announced profits up 27% to £40.1m, should take note”

Through the week, there were protests at Greggs, McDonalds and Superdrug in London, WH Smiths in Bath, Argos and Primark in Brighton, the British Heart Foundation in Leeds, A4e in Liverpool, Holland and Barrett in Oxford  to mention a few.

On Tuesday, a delegation from Boycott Workfare’s Making Welfare Work counter-conference in Birmingham marched down the road to protest at the Welfare-To-Work industry’s convention at the ICC.

David Cameron, ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling are desperate to increase the numbers of unemployed forced to work unpaid.

This is despite the fact that workfare is having  “zero effect” on getting people into employment.

Involving the wider trade union movement in the protests can finish off  the Tories’ “state-sponsored slavery”.






  1. Finbar Murphy said:

    The right to work doesn’t seem to extend to the unemployed getting any work experience. “State sponsored slavery.” What a load of rubbish.

    16 July 2012 at 9:16pm
  2. Sian said:

    @finbar murphy – stacking shelves or mopping floors is not ‘work experience’ you don’t need work experience to do such things – they are not complex tasks that take months to learn to do, the point of ‘welfare to work’ is that most of the people made to do this ‘work’ are supposed to end up with a permanent full-time job from the people they have been enslaved by -oops sorry – placed with, something like 85% was the aim, so far about 3% of all the people who have performed this hard labour have been offered jobs – and why would these companies offer people jobs when they can tell them to fuck off and get new slaves – sorry again – workers placed with them wh they have to pay nothing for/to?? so yeah ‘state sponsered slavery’ is completely correct – look up the meaning of the word slavery in the dictionary and compare it to this ‘scheme’ – if your honest you’ll find it to be an exact match..

    17 July 2012 at 3:23am
  3. jray said:

    As a 48yo male that has worked most of my life,I have now been informed that I will be put on the mandatory work programme.The basic outline(as no contract will be provided) I will still have to sign on at JCP and the work programme,I still have to actively search for full time employment,I will be required to work at the assigned work task for a minimum of 30 Hrs to 42Hrs per week,I am not entitled to travel expenses or any other expenses,safety gear will be provided with the exception of steel toe boots(these are required)If I need time off to attend a job interview 48Hrs notice is required,The duration of this will last 6 months,No Holidays will be taken during this period,public holidays are allowed at the employers discretion(Ironic)If more than 2 sick days are taken during 6 month period you will be subject to sanctions.The only benefit I receive is JSA £71 a week(Grateful,but I thought this what I paid in for) No interview or job outcome will be guaranteed,at the completion of 6 months work experience if you are still not employed you are subject to a further 6 month work experience.

    17 July 2012 at 11:51am
  4. Barry said:

    Finbar, you have obviously never been unemployed or you believe the vile likes of the Daily Mail tell nothing but the truth about this subject. The fact is the vast majority of the unemployed WANT jobs and there is NO mass epidemic of ‘workshyness’ as the Daily Moron implies. Simply put, the demand for labour in our economy isn’t there which is why we only have around 450,000 vacancies and MILLIONS of unemployed. The ONLY way to solve this problem is by the government having economic policies which will get the British economy growing at a sufficient rate to close this gap.

    19 July 2012 at 11:49am

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