Protestors gathered outside the offices of Becoming Green for a third week running yesterday. They are demanding that the Cardiff-based firm backs out of it’s ‘Prisonfare’ scheme which has seen it make prisoners work for as little as £3 a day while at the same time getting rid of fully paid staff.
As the campaign continues and more names are added to the open letter against ‘Prisonfare’, it appears that Becoming Green is just the thin end of the wedge. Workers from the company talked to protestors and spoke of how some prisoners had told them they can get paid as little as £1 a day working for other companies and even the local council.
Ramon Corria, secretary of Cardiff Trades Council said:
“Just this week we’ve seen that Cardiff prison will be opening a restaurant run by prisoners. We’ve got absolutely no problem with prisoners learning new skills but we’ve also learnt that the furniture going in this restaurant will be made by prisoners. Well, that furniture could have been made by Remploy workers, but all the factories are now being closed down and workers thrown on the scrapheap”
Marianne Owens vice chair of PCS Wales brought solidarity from her union, whose Welsh secretary has signed the open letter
“I work in a call centre and know how stressful the work is. The last thing workers need in that situation is the threat of loosing their job because the company knows it can bring in cheaper labour”.
An electrician from Unite also addressed the crowd and urged protestors to continue their action. He asked people to show solidarity to construction workers who will be protesting on Friday morning against construction firm Crown House, who are threatening workers who do not sign new ‘cuts-contracts’ with the sack!
The protest will continue next week but start at the earlier time of 4.00pm so that they can march to join a protest against ATOS, the private company being hired by the government to throw disabled people off benefits.
Seb Cooke from Right to Work South Wales said
“It’s not just people who are employed who are being pushed into poverty; the government is also after disabled people and wants to take away their benefits. We stand in absolute solidarity with disabled people fighting againts ATOS and their paymasters in the Coalition Government”
No to ‘Prisonfare’ – Real jobs Now!
JOIN THE DEMONSTRATION:
Assemble 4.00pm on Wednesday 29th August.
Cardiff CF24 0AB