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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.

Day 3: Target the companies replacing paid work with workfare

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Call to action | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Workfare hands companies free labour which means fewer jobs and paid hours for everyone. But direct action and online pressure mean tens of brands now steer clear of it. Let’s step up the pressure on companies who still think they can profit from unpaid work!

Take action today to shame these companies and make them realise that exploiting unemployed people might just mean fewer customers this Christmas. There’s new online action every day this week so please keep checking back!

Marks & Spencer

If You Exploit Us We Will Shut You Down

M&S: rolling out workfare in their stores. Unless we stop them!

Marks & Spencer’s use of workfare hit public awareness when they announced 1400 new placements in their stores and a benchmark of 2% of the workforce to be unpaid. But this isn’t the brand’s first encounter with workfare. Despite their CEO earning over £2 million a year, they are also profiting from unpaid work through another workfare scheme in Scotland, which targets single parents. It’s likely their involvement is much more widespread – we also heard from someone sent on a 4 week placement at one of their outlet stores.

Last time we took action, M&S was forced to disable comments on their Facebook Page. Several pickets and walks of shame will pay a visit to their stores this week. Please feel free to contact them with your thoughts as well:

By email: Using their online form
By phone: See this useful list of numbers
Facebook: Marks and Spencer
Twitter:

B&M Stores

In May, B&M won an award from the workfare industry for its involvement. But the reality of this involvement is harsh. One person has reported: “B&M stores have started using workfare Jan 2013. Receiving free labour and stopping overtime for employees with contracts. The people forced to do this free labour are not happy and neither are the employees!” Boycott Workfare has had reports of workfare at B&M stores in Bangor, Glasgow, Manchester, Southend and Northern Ireland. Show them they can’t keep cutting their wages bill with unpaid work!

By email: enquiries@bmstores.co.uk or customerservices@bmstores.co.uk
By phone: 0151 728 5400 or more numbers here.
Facebook: B&M Stores
Twitter:

Leeds Unemployed Action Group exposed the workfare providers in their area

Leeds Unemployed Action Group exposed the workfare providers in their area

Asda

Asda has been at the heart of workfare in the UK, helping the government relaunch its “Work Experience” scheme last year. We have had reports that one of their stores in Manchester uses disabled people on workfare on the night shift. They are frank about their involvement here.

Asda contact form: Click here
Facebook: Asda
Twitter:

Don’t forget to sign the petition calling for an end to all benefit sanctions without exceptions.


3 Comments on “Day 3: Target the companies replacing paid work with workfare”

  1. 1 Anti-workfare picket of Lewisham Marks & Spencer Saturday 7th December | Hastings Anarchists said at 6:00 am on December 5th, 2013:

    [...] M&S’s use of workfare made news in June when they announced 1400 new ‘work experience’ placements for young unemployed people would be made available. These positions are unpaid. Indeed, M&S have set a benchmark of 2% of their workforce to be unpaid. More info via Boycott Workfare here. [...]

  2. 2 Jeanette Traynor said at 11:22 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    I am shocked to see that M & S are participating in this scheme and doing the dirty work of the Government. It will make them very unpopular and their brand will forever be tainted. I had christmas shopping to do there, but I will now be taking my business to those shops refusing to participate in a punitive and unjust programme of slavery.

  3. 3 Anti-workfare picket of Lewisham Marks & Spencer Saturday 7th December | Hastings Anarchists said at 6:33 am on December 11th, 2013:

    […] M&S’s use of workfare made news in June when they announced 1400 new ‘work experience’ placements for young unemployed people would be made available. These positions are unpaid. Indeed, M&S have set a benchmark of 2% of their workforce to be unpaid. More info via Boycott Workfare here. […]


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