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Boycott Workfare is a UK-wide campaign to end forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare. Workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst threatening the poor by taking away welfare rights if people refuse to work without a living wage. We are a grassroots campaign, formed in 2010 by people with experience of workfare and those concerned about its impact. We expose and take action against companies and organisations profiting from workfare; encourage organisations to pledge to boycott it; and actively inform people of their rights.

Week of Action against workfare – Charities stop exploiting the unemployed!

Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Call to action | 21 Comments »

Take action 8th December onwards

Many companies and charities have pulled out of the government’s workfare schemes when met with pickets and direct action that put these exploitative schemes in the spotlight.

But charities including British Heart Foundation, Scope and Barnardos and many companies like Poundland, Argos and Superdrug still subscribe to schemes which force the unemployed to “work for their benefits”. That’s why Boycott Workfare network are calling A Week of Action against Workfare, focusing especially on the charities involved.

You are urged to join the action which starts on Saturday, December 8th!

You’re unemployed? Stand up against this exploitation: we won’t work for nothing to profit the rich! In work? Workfare attacks your wages and conditions, you could be sacked and replaced by workfare conscripts. If you care about human rights and dignity – join us. Our anti workfare actions are part of the global resistance to the austerity being imposed everywhere.

Why are we against workfare in Charities? We know first-hand what it really means.

Workfare helps hide swingeing cuts to support for charities by central government.

Real jobs that charity donors have paid to have carried out are forced onto the unemployed.

Many veteran volunteers have left British Heart Foundation in disgust as charity shops are swamped with unwilling conscripts. Workfare contradicts the voluntary ethos charities are supposed to uphold.

A claimant told us how his benefits were threatened after he left a Work Programme placement at BHF – where he was treated appallingly – and declined a placement at Barnardos. Only the intervention of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty prevented him being left penniless.

Many charities are losing skilled volunteers – as they are being forced to instead do meaningless workfare at companies and even other charities! The unemployed lose real skill-learning opportunities to be compelled to stack shelves.

Since our latest actions were announced British Heart Foundation have announced they are “moving away” from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. This is encouraging – but we need an assurance they have actually WITHDRAWN from ALL workfare schemes.

Read our blog on what’s wrong with charity workfare for more and check back as the week approaches for leaflets, and online action to take as well!

Our message is simple: If you exploit us, we will shut you down!

Actions announced so far:

Birmingham
Workfare’s Christmas Bonus For The Bosses

Brighton
Superdrug Steals Christmas

Dundee
Name & Shame: The Dundee Workfare Providers Tour

Edinburgh
Say No! To Unpaid Labour

Glasgow
Anti-Workfare Picket Against Superdrug
Stop workfare day of action

Leeds
The Leeds Tour of Workfare

Liverpool
Combat Workfare

London

Combat Workfare – Holloway Road
End unpaid work! Anti-workfare picket on Walworth Road
Keep the afternoon of 12th December free to have a surprise party at a workfare-using organisation!

 

Co-ordinated action will be taking place by Anti-Cuts groups and UK Uncut on 8 December as well.

Useful resources

Advance Notice for Charity Staff – one group put this together to inform Charity shop staff about protests

Feel free to adapt the following leaflets:

 


21 Comments on “Week of Action against workfare – Charities stop exploiting the unemployed!”

  1. 1 peter smith said at 5:34 pm on November 9th, 2012:

    Do you have a list of charities/companies that use workfare

  2. 2 British Heart Foundation Are Out of Some Workfare – But Announcement Leaves More Questions Than Answers | the void said at 2:36 pm on November 10th, 2012:

    [...] the scheme, it’s plain to see that workfare isn’t working.  Join in with the upcoming Month of Action Against Workfare Charities and let’s make sure it stays that [...]

  3. 3 British Heart Foundation May Be Withdrawing From Workfare As Demonstrations Continue | Birmingham Against The Cuts said at 12:17 pm on November 11th, 2012:

    [...] With the way that the word “volunteer” has been abused in the past on workfare schemes, it is natural and right that we are skeptical of the British Heart Foundation’s move and need to know the details. However we welcome their withdrawal of support for the Mandatory Work Activity scheme which comes following a series of demonstrations around the UK against charity workfare, that will continue on 8th December with a national day of action. [...]

  4. 4 Give Up Work To Attend Workfare Say New DWP Guidelines | the void said at 4:21 pm on November 11th, 2012:

    [...] the Week of Action Against Workfare beginning on December 8th. Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogle [...]

  5. 5 editor said at 10:26 pm on November 11th, 2012:

    Here you go: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16

  6. 6 Workfare’s in trouble. Time to finish it off. | Cautiously pessimistic said at 10:29 pm on November 11th, 2012:

    [...] want to be a part of the campaign that makes workfare collapse, a good place to join in would be the national week of action starting December 8th. Share this:FacebookTwitterDiggStumbleUponEmailRedditGoogle +1TumblrPrintLinkedInLike this:LikeBe [...]

  7. 7 workhouseactvity said at 12:06 am on November 12th, 2012:

    Guardian leak DWP litigation submission
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/19389000

  8. 8 Huge Numbers on Workfare Mask True Unemployment Crisis | the void said at 1:24 pm on November 14th, 2012:

    [...] the Week of Action Against Workfare beginning on December 8th. Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogle [...]

  9. 9 Week of Action against workfare – Charities stop exploiting the unemployed! | the void said at 12:43 pm on November 15th, 2012:

    [...] From Boycott Workfare [...]

  10. 10 Week of Action against workfare – Charities stop exploiting the unemployed! « Benefit Claimants Fightback said at 3:24 pm on November 15th, 2012:

    [...] From Boycott Workfare [...]

  11. 11 Universal Jobmatch – Do Not Sign! | the void said at 4:03 pm on November 18th, 2012:

    [...] the National Week of Action Against Workfare: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1741 Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogle +1MoreRedditStumbleUponTumblrPinterestLinkedInDiggPrintEmailLike [...]

  12. 12 Workfare’s Christmas Bonus For The Bosses – Demonstrate, 8th December | Birmingham Against The Cuts said at 1:45 pm on November 21st, 2012:

    [...] Christmas Bonus For The Bosses – Demonstrate, 8th December As part of the Boycott Workfare national week of action starting on Saturday 8th December, Boycott Workfare West Midlands will be holding a demonstration [...]

  13. 13 118 – Workers of the World Unite! | National Shop Stewards Network said at 10:29 pm on November 22nd, 2012:

    [...] Boycott Workfare – Many companies and charities have pulled out of the government’s workfare schemes when met with pickets and direct action that put these exploitative schemes in the spotlight. Week of action from 8th Dec. More [...]

  14. 14 Sick and Disabled Claimants Now to Be Sent on Workfare (by the same charities who claim to support them) | the void said at 12:07 pm on November 28th, 2012:

    [...] A new militancy is required and these charities need to know that we will not accept their greedy money grabbing activities on the Work Programme or any other workfare scheme. And they will no longer receive a penny of our money.  If they exploit us we will shut them down.  Start by telling them what you think of their connivance with the Work Programme and join the Boycott Workfare Week of Action Against Workfare Charities beginning on December 8th: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1741 [...]

  15. 15 Sick and Disabled Claimants Now to Be Sent on Workfare (by the same charities who claim to support them) « SLaM TWIG: Operations said at 4:40 pm on November 28th, 2012:

    [...] A new militancy is required and these charities need to know that we will not accept their greedy money grabbing activities on the Work Programme or any other workfare scheme. And they will no longer receive a penny of our money.  If they exploit us we will shut them down.  Start by telling them what you think of their connivance with the Work Programme and join the Boycott Workfare Week of Action Against Workfare Charities beginning on December 8th:http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1741 [...]

  16. 16 Kath said at 5:07 pm on November 29th, 2012:

    I Volunteer with a local charity that has helped me for many years. I am proud to do my little pottering around & as a disabled person who is well supervised in what I do I have a sense of being valued & a sense of purpose in my life.
    I object to the government using the term volunteering for their work programme as it is not voluntary it is forced labour. This schemes do not give anyone a sense of purpose.
    They have also made people who genuinally can not work because of their disabilty afraid to voluteer incase they get found out doing this & told to go back to work.

  17. 17 Today is International Day of Persons With Disabilities. It is Also the Day Disabled People In the UK Can Be Forced into Unlimited Unpaid Workfare | Birmingham Against The Cuts said at 10:03 am on December 3rd, 2012:

    [...] withdraw as the schemes they take part in start to affect the people they are supposed to help. The Boycott Workfare week of action that starts on 8th December is focused on charities involvement in these [...]

  18. 18 karen said at 6:39 pm on December 6th, 2012:

    i wish i could join in my local. But i have arthritis and cant get there. I hate this government with a passion. I was in the army, unlike the majority of them and i have to listen to their sickening rhetoric about the disabled. Disabled people DID NOT CAUSE THIS FINACIAL CRISIS! The class that is in governement did so why should we pay for THEM?

  19. 19 Boris Clover said at 10:43 pm on December 6th, 2012:

    I am now (for the moment) free of the dole and the threat of Workfare by virtue of being too old for either.That is because the Tory filth are very careful about taking on us old crocks. I have no doubt at all that they would do so,if they thought they could get away with it.
    Of course I support this campaign.Any socialist worthy of the name would do so-which leads to one conclusion about the so-called Labour Party.Their leadership should be in your sights,too. If it hadn’t been for them,and their gutlessness and lack of principle, the Tories would never have dared impose Workfare.With friends like them,who needs enemies?

  20. 20 Nationwide Week of Action Against Workfare: Stop exploiting the unemployed and sick! Take action Saturday 8 December 2012 « kickingthecat said at 11:27 am on December 7th, 2012:

    [...] http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1741#more-1741 [...]

  21. 21 Anti workfare demo Sat Leith « Time for Action said at 9:08 pm on December 7th, 2012:

    [...] Details of actions round Britain, including Glasgow and Dundee  http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1741#more-1741 [...]


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