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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.

UK-wide day of action against workfare – Saturday 3rd March

Posted: February 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Call to action | 84 Comments »

In solidarity with Liverpool Uncut’s action against workfare on Saturday 3rd March, Boycott Workfare has called a national day of action against workfare. There’s already actions planned in thirty seven locations across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England (with others still planning!). Why not visit your high street for some fun and peaceful action as well?

So many high street stores are involved in taking on forced unpaid labour that there is plenty of choice – Tescos, Asda, Holland & Barrett, Primark, HMV, and Topshop to name but a few. We’ll have the latest details on each of the companies online soon. Get a group together, make a plan, and head to the streets.

Workfare means that those who need welfare are forced into unpaid work for multi-million pound companies. Instead of a living wage, they receive only JSA – a tiny £53 a week for the under-25s – far below minimum wage.

Workfare means those in paid positions may see their jobs replaced by this unpaid labour. Why would a company pay for people to do these jobs when they can get free labour from the Job Centre?

We can put a stop to this forced unpaid labour – Waterstones, Sainsburys and TK Maxx have all recently announced that they would no longer take unpaid placements – the other companies just need a bit more encouragement to stop this exploitation.

We demand an end to this exploitation and call for welfare rights and living wages for all!
If you continue to exploit us we WILL shut you down!

Details of actions:

  • Aberdeen – 12 noon outside M&S. See Facebook event here.
  • Belfast – Name & Shame Workfare/Steps to Work Tour. Meeting outside Tesco Metro, Royal Avenue at 2pm. See Facebook event.
  • Birmingham – 11.30am outside Poundland on Union Street. Facebook event.
  • Brighton - Brighton Benefits Campaign are picketing Tesco in Jubilee Street (opposite Jubilee Square) from 12 noon. See Facebook event. Brighton Youth Fight for Jobs & Education are picketing Tesco in St James’s Street Kemp Town from 11.30am.See Facebook event.
  • Bristol – 13.00 at BHS. (not 12 noon at College Green) More info.
  • Cambridge - Meet 1.30 at the Cambridge Tescos on Newmarket Road.
  • Cardiff - 2pm Outside Poundland on Queen Street. See Facebook event.
  • Dundee – Meeting outside Boots in the City Centre at 1pm. More info.
  • Edinburgh - 12 noon, Hunter Square, Edinburgh, all welcome. See facebook event.
  • Glasgow – 1pm, March 3rd, Top Shop 229 Buchanan Street. See Facebook event.
  • Leeds - 12 noon until 3pm. Location tbc. See Facebook event.
  • Leicester – Leicester Right to Work and Leicester Uncut will be doing a ‘Tour of
    Leicester’ visiting as many companies participating in the workfare scheme as possible … meet city centre at 12 location to be advised … keep an eye on our FB pages.
  • Lincoln – Picket, protest, occupy. Meeting 12 noon on High Street. More details to come.
  • Liverpool – Take action with UK Uncut, 1pm until 4pm. Meet Next to Nowhere Social Centre, Bold Street, Liverpool. More info.
  • London, Brixton - 12 noon, Acre Lane Tesco.
  • London, Ealing – 1pm, The Arcadia Centre 50/52 Broadway, Ealing W5 2ND. See Facebook event.
  • London, Islington – Meet at Angel Station at 10am. See Facebook event.
  • London, Oxford Street – Meet outside BHS on Oxford Street, 11:30am. More info and download leaflet for the Oxford St action.
  • London, Hackney – See Facebook event.
  • London, Kingston - 1pm, Outside Starbucks at the top of Kingston High Street, near the junction with Eden Street. KT1 1NY. See Facebook Event
  • London, Lewisham – Join UK Uncut at 1pm, Lewisham High Street More Information.
  • London, Walthamstow - 12 noon outside the Nat West bank in Walthamstow Town Square.
  • Manchester – 12pm at 60 Market Street. More details here.
  • Margate – 11am at Occupy Thanet site. Facebook event here.
  • Milton Keynes – 1pm at McDonalds, MK Central. Facebook event here.
  • Newcastle – 12pm outside Eldon Square. See Facebook event.
  • Norwich – 2pm outside Primark, Haymarket,Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1QD
  • Nottingham – 12pm outsideWilkinsons, Parliament Street See Facebook event.
  • Oxford – Join Solidarity Federation in a Thames Valley action. Assemble 12 noon at Carfax Tower before moving on to selected target(s). More Information.
  • Paisley – Meet on the High Street at 11.30am at the old Littlewoods site
  • Portsmouth – Meet at Fountain, Commercial Rd, Portsmouth, Saturday 3 March for workfare protest.
  • Rotherham - Meet 12.30 at MacDonalds.
  • Southampton – Meet 12 noon Southampton Precinct near Primark.
  • Sheffield – Meet Devonshire Green, Sheffield, 1pm. We will meet at 1pm and decide on a target. See Facebook event.
  • Swansea – 12 o’clock, McDonald’s, Castle Square.
  • Tunbridge Wells – Meet at the Millennium clock in Tunbridge Wells at 12 noon.
  • Worthing, West Sussex – Meet 1pm at Bandstand in Montague Place, Montague Street, for Workfare Walk round town centre. Organised by Occupy Worthing.
  • York – Meet at 1pm, Parliament Street Fountain.

Let us know what you’re planning. The campaign is UK-wide!

 

Meet at the Millennium clock in Tunbridge Wells at 12 noon

84 Comments on “UK-wide day of action against workfare – Saturday 3rd March”

  1. 1 Eowyn Rohan said at 2:20 pm on February 9th, 2012:

    Any chance of instigating a Flash Mob type of demonstration at stores Nationally, arranged by Local Coordinators ? And get the media involved.

  2. 2 Christina said at 8:31 pm on February 9th, 2012:

    This is outrageous behaviour in a civilized society. We can not call ourselves “great” Britain if we allow this.

    Please publish a list of shops that use workfare. I wish to avoid these shops/services in future.

  3. 3 Work Programme said at 10:41 am on February 10th, 2012:

    Possible workfare placements:

    http://www.dgjobs.co.uk/workfare.php

    and also Ipswich Unemployed Action had a big feature on these:-

    http://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/latest-workfare-jobs-advertised/

  4. 4 Workfare Collapses | the void said at 11:26 am on February 11th, 2012:

    [...] against workfare is planned in both Liverpool and London (so far) on March 3rd, and a Boycott Workfare group also are becoming established in Birmingham, where a legal challenge [...]

  5. 5 Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Good news! Sainsbury’s withdraws from workfare said at 11:58 am on February 11th, 2012:

    [...] placements by publicly exposing those profiting from workfare. On Saturday 3rd March, people in Liverpool and London are taking to the high street to up the pressure on brands who still think these schemes are [...]

  6. 6 @somerandomhash » Sainsbury’s withdraws from workfare said at 4:33 pm on February 11th, 2012:

    [...] placements by publicly exposing those profiting from workfare. On Saturday 3rd March, people in Liverpool and London are taking to the high street to up the pressure on brands who still think these schemes are [...]

  7. 7 Pip said at 4:08 pm on February 12th, 2012:

    Brighton Benefits Campaign organised a very successful picket of Poundland two weeks ago which led to the local store pulling out of the scheme.
    We’ll be organising another picket – details to come – on March 3rd in solidarity with Liverpool & London.
    Not only retailers, but charities & councils are implicated in the injustice of forced labour. Time to tell them we’re not standing for it any more!

  8. 8 Benefit Claimants Fighting Back | the void said at 12:35 pm on February 14th, 2012:

    [...] forced labour scheme.  The next action is on 3rd March which has been called as  a National Day of Action Against Workfare, with other resistance already planned in Liverpool and Brighton.  They have a new facebook page [...]

  9. 9 The ideology of workfare | Edinburgh Eye said at 7:05 am on February 16th, 2012:

    [...] On 9th February, Tesco in East Anglia posted a job on the DirectGov JobCentrePlus website, looking for someone on JSA to work the night shift. On 3rd March, there’s a National Day of Action against workfare. [...]

  10. 10 Say No to Forced Work with No Pay » DPAC said at 2:30 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    [...] UK-wide day of action against workfare – Saturday 3rd March [...]

  11. 11 Tesco’s Secret Workfare Slaves | the void said at 3:47 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    [...] all announced they will no longer be taking part in workfare.  With the 3rd of March called as a National Day of Action Against Workfare then this abandonment of the government’s flagship scheme  sure to spread.  If workfare is [...]

  12. 12 Tesco under pressure to withdraw from unpaid work experience schemes | TubeShaker said at 5:07 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    [...] campaign group Boycott Workfare has said it is organising a protest for 3 March to target firms involved in what it has described as modern-day slave [...]

  13. 13 Petey said at 5:53 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    I wrote to them last week complaining about this and urging them to pull out as it is incredibly damaging to their public image to be part of this…

    Everyone who is against this should tell them so.

    Of course the fact that it is also completely exploitative and immoral will not even be on their radar.

    we have to look at things from their perspective and focus on the damage to their public image and of course their PROFITS

    see you all on the third

  14. 14 Tesco under pressure to withdraw from unpaid work experience schemes | newsworlddigest.com said at 6:44 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    [...] campaign group Boycott Workfare has said it is organising a protest for 3 March to target firms involved in what it has described as modern-day slave [...]

  15. 15 Pip said at 6:44 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    Picketing Tesco on March 3!
    more details to come shortly

  16. 16 You will work harder. Cameron is always right. | Edinburgh Eye said at 10:21 pm on February 16th, 2012:

    [...] Day of Action against workfare is Saturday 3rd March. If freedom is to be saved and enlarged, poverty must be ended. There is no other solution. [...]

  17. 17 Tesco under pressure to withdraw from unpaid work experience schemes | BIZ1.ORG means BUSINESS said at 3:01 am on February 17th, 2012:

    [...] campaign group Boycott Workfare has said it is organising a protest for 3 March to target firms involved in what it has described as modern-day slave [...]

  18. 18 Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ | Liberal Conspiracy said at 8:31 am on February 17th, 2012:

    [...] Workfare are now planning a UK-wide day of action against ‘workfare’, in conjunction with UKuncut, on 3rd March. [...]

  19. 19 Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ | Liberal Conspiracy said at 8:31 am on February 17th, 2012:

    [...] Workfare are now planning a UK-wide day of action against ‘workfare’, in conjunction with UKuncut, on 3rd March. [...]

  20. 20 Workfare Slavery Infects the Public Sector | the void said at 10:10 am on February 17th, 2012:

    [...] PCS members should be warmly welcomed by claimants  should they attend an event as part of the National Day of Action Against Workfare on March 3rd.  And claimants should, and will, continue to support the PCS in their battle over [...]

  21. 21 paddington said at 10:49 am on February 17th, 2012:

    is there a facebook event for the national day of action on March 3rd?

  22. 22 admin said at 11:40 am on February 17th, 2012:

    Yes – here – please say you’re coming! http://www.facebook.com/events/108260229303114/

  23. 23 Upcoming events | York Anarchists Blog said at 5:03 pm on February 17th, 2012:

    [...] following weekend, Saturday 3rd March, is the date of a National Day of Action against Workfare called by Boycott Workfare. Workfare is a system under which benefit claimants are required to [...]

  24. 24 If You Don’t Think Workfare Is A Workplace Issue You Need To Think Again. said at 9:54 pm on February 17th, 2012:

    [...] UK Wide Day Of Action Against Workfare [...]

  25. 25 pxr5 said at 12:12 am on February 18th, 2012:

    This seems to be illegal
    If the company is paying you the same amount as your jsa (expences dont come into this) then this could breach minimum wage laws…
    The national minimum wage is £6.08
    JSA is currently £67.50 (over 21)
    This means that any of these placement jobs must not exceed 11 hours per week!
    Remember it is the company paying you £67.50 per week, not the gov. So the company must pay minimum wage, this whole thing may be a work around but im sure at the very least if the hours worked exceed 11 hours then either it is illegal or the extra hours must be paid by the company.

  26. 26 Pip Tindall said at 10:50 am on February 18th, 2012:

    There are now two groups demonstrating in Brighton on March 3rd!

    Brighton Benefits Campaign is picketing Tesco in Jubilee Street from 12 noon.

    There will also be a ‘chain gang’ marching from the Jobcentre in Edward Street to the Tesco store in St James’s Street Kemp Town, starting at 11.30am.

  27. 27 Day of Action Against Workfare – March 3 « Brighton Benefits Campaign said at 11:10 am on February 18th, 2012:

    [...] actions around the country can be found at Boycott Workfare http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359#comment-336 Like this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  28. 28 Shame of the Third Sector: How Charities Got it Wrong on Workfare | the void said at 2:44 pm on February 18th, 2012:

    [...] (@mindcharity), SCOPE (@scope), and Mencap (@mencap_charity) may well help focus their minds.  As resistance to workfare spreads, not for the first time, the likes of SCOPE could see angry mobs of disabled people and claimants [...]

  29. 29 Shame of the Third Sector: How Charities Got it Wrong on Workfare » DPAC said at 7:13 pm on February 18th, 2012:

    [...] (@mindcharity), SCOPE (@scope), and Mencap (@mencap_charity) may well help focus their minds.  As resistance to workfare spreads, not for the first time, the likes of SCOPE could see angry mobs of disabled people and claimants [...]

  30. 30 Good show, Tesco. Good show, what? | Edinburgh Eye said at 8:48 pm on February 18th, 2012:

    [...] demonstrators brought one Tesco store to a standstill. National day of action, 3rd March. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  31. 31 Lincoln Lady said at 10:39 pm on February 18th, 2012:

    Where can I get more info about Lincoln protest?

  32. 32 Longrider » The Great Satan said at 8:57 am on February 19th, 2012:

    [...] for the denizens of the department of work and pensions… So, on balance, I’m with the boycotters on this one. Tags: jsa, workfare, tesco Share this:EmailStumbleUponDiggFacebook Comments [...]

  33. 33 Brighton Benefits Campaign said at 11:27 am on February 19th, 2012:

    Please would you amend the Brighton entry on your list of actions:

    Brighton Benefits Campaign are picketing Tesco in Jubilee Street (opposite Jubilee Square) from 12 noon.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/252223388191094/

    Brighton Youth Fight for Jobs & Education are picketing Tesco in St James’s Street Kemp Town from 11.30am.

    Thanks!
    Brighton Benefits Campaign

  34. 34 Northerner said at 3:28 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    Anything planned in Manchester or Wigan yet?

  35. 35 Chris Grayling is a Lying Bastard | the void said at 4:06 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    [...] Army are unrepentant over their use of forced labour.  Resistance is growing fast however.  The National Day of Action Against Workfare on the 3rd March will see action against workfare exploiters in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, [...]

  36. 36 james said at 6:18 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    @Sheffield – Meet Devonshire Green, Sheffield, 1pm. We will meet at 1pm and decide on a target.
    Try Asda
    Argos: discount products, discount labour

    a claimant in Bristol told Corporate Watch how paid Christmas work in the Argos store in the Galleries shopping centre disappeared when the company realised it could get people in for nothing on workfare placements. ‘Jason’, who wishes to remain anonymous, said Seetec, the ‘provider’ company that he was sent to by the Jobcentre, had arranged an interview for him and 13 others for temporary work. They were not hired because the store instead took people on unpaid placements organised by Prospect, another employment provider company, which ironically has its Bristol office in the same building as Seetec.
    for more info go to link below
    http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=4221

  37. 37 james said at 6:22 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    More deplorable evidence regarding Asda from
    http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=4221

    Joe Wilson, a 21 year old on Jobseekers Allowance, worked a four-day week, unpaid, for six weeks from the middle of November at the Asda superstore in Harrogate, Yorkshire. He told Corporate Watch:

    “There were about 15 of us on placements. The manager said they had overspent on stocking Christmas stuff so they’d got people in on placements [to save money]. The paid staff told us they were being asked to leave before they’d ended their shift as we could do the work. I worked Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. They arranged it so everyone came in those days.”

    His Jobcentre had said that if he didn’t attend the placement his benefits could be stopped:

    “The Jobcentre had got a group of us in for CV writing training. It was really obvious stuff – don’t use a crayon and so on. When we were there they said some people had come to speak to us about a work experience programme. Then a few days later I got a letter saying that, as I’d expressed an interest they’d be organising a work placement. The letter said if I didn’t go they’d stop my JSA. I’d never said I wanted to do a placement in Asda.”

    A spokesperson at Asda’s head office told Corporate Watch that the company hadn’t received any reports of workfare placements replacing paid staff and they would “investigate further,” adding the placements were “not designed to substitute colleague roles”.

    Despite several follow-up calls and emails, we have not heard anything since

  38. 38 David said at 7:36 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    Can I just say that the main reason why people have to go onto these “forced unpaid labour” is because the job centre make them do it because they have been unemployed for so long that they need to prove they are actually still actively looking for a job. Most of the companies that you’ve listed here are retail companies and surely you must realise that in the current economy they can’t just simply take people on at will (as most of them are taking less money as it is), the most obvious time they can employ people is at christmas time for temporary work, but then the people that have posted on here saying they’re forced into working over christmas for no money should have perhaps looked for a christmas temp job themselves earlier rather than being forced into it.

    I’m not in any way saying that I think this is a good thing but if you have a problem with it then you should be focusing your anger onto the job centre, not the companies that are at least giving them some experience and a way to keep getting their benefits.

    When I was unemployed (quite a while ago yes, but) there was no option, you either got a job within 6 months or they stopped your benefits simple as that. Surely the job centres should be the ones with the onus to help people find jobs, but then if people who are unemployed are going to be really picky about what jobs they want then what do you expect. I took a job as a cleaner to get me off the doll, got a christmas temp job later in the year and worked my butt off to get a full time job out of it.

    Again I say your problem should be with the job centres not the companies, go and picket outside there and not outside normal companies. Unless of course you’re trying to put all the high street stores out of business so there’ll be nowhere for you to get a job anyway!

  39. 39 Scab or starve – why workfare is an attack on us all. | Cautiously pessimistic said at 7:37 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    [...] to fight back here, with Boycott Workfare being the main group focusing on this specific issue, and the source of a national call for action on Saturday 3rd March. Anyway, you probably already know that workfare is a bad thing, you don’t need me to tell you [...]

  40. 40 roy said at 9:24 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    I think Oxfam are a disgrace for taking part in this explotation.

  41. 41 Why We’re Supporting Boycott Workfare Campaign In Birmingham | Birmingham Against The Cuts said at 10:40 pm on February 19th, 2012:

    [...] Update: As part of the national day of action, there will be a picket of Poundland on Union Street in Kings Heath on Saturday 3rd March, 11:30am-12:30pm. Other events are taking place around the country so if you are not in Birmingham, check here [...]

  42. 42 Annonymous said at 2:18 am on February 20th, 2012:

    We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us

  43. 43 Workfare in Scotland: FOI denied | Edinburgh Eye said at 5:56 pm on February 20th, 2012:

    [...] Saturday 3rd March the Boycott Workfare campaign plans a national, UK-wide, day of action against workfare – and I had been wondering why no locale for a demo had yet been announced [...]

  44. 44 Erik said at 11:45 pm on February 20th, 2012:

    David – That’s totally erroneous. So we should be focussing our anger on the slave providers but not those buying the slaves? Utter rubbish. Tesco, Boots, McDonald’s and all of the names on the above list, are giant multi-national companies, they can afford to hire employees at minimum wage and by the laws of this country (and by human fairness) they should be doing so.

    And besides, what impact do you think picketing the Job Centre will do? All that will be accomplished is that people will be prevented from getting their benefits – and we have no wish to do Cameron’s job for him.

    As for your comment about ‘giving them experience’, that just reveals your prejudice about the unemployed. In some cases we’re talking about people who have degrees, who could be of real use to society – engineers, nurses, teachers – who because of the current job situation are still looking for a job but have no time to do so or to go for interviews or do other research/reading necessary to get their job, because the government is intent on “giving them experience” of bloody stacking shelves – do you really think this is useful experience for them? It is demeaning to generalise and say that this is all an unemployed person is good for, and that they are so ill-equipped at life that this is where they all must begin, all lumped in together at the bottom rung. And I think you are generalising David, you reveal your prejudices in the line,

    “but then if people who are unemployed are going to be really picky about what jobs they want then what do you expect”,

    showing that you blame the unemployed person for being thus – although in the same paragraph you acknowledge the fact that the economy is bad, which leads to there being less jobs around… How are people supposed to get these nonexistent jobs? Or are they just supposed to clean windscreens at traffic lights and ask for money?

    Do you actually see the retailers as an innocent party in this? That they are somehow not responsible for employing people for essentially slave wages? Why exactly is it not the retailers fault that they don’t have enough morals to pay people minimum wage for a job? Do you really think the CEOs of these companies are suffering THAT much from the recession that they can’t afford to pay a living wage to their employees? It should be obvious that any retail outlet that consents to employing people for less than minimum wage is just as culpable for the exploitation as is the government who are forcing unemployed people into this position.

  45. 45 Dale said at 6:20 am on February 21st, 2012:

    I have always said if they want you to work, it should be paid at MINIMUM WAGE at the very least. It matters not who pays it, whether it be the benefits office or the company itself but minimum wage is a law that the government themselves put in place.

    Working 48 hours a week for the pitiful pittance the dole gives you is nothing but slave labour. Forcing you to “prove you can do a job” that you have already been doing for years is nothing short of a total insult.

  46. 46 Sally said at 7:49 am on February 21st, 2012:

    I have to say I agree with David who commented on 19th Feb ; I think anger should be more broadly raged against the job centres. However I also think that there appears to be a very one sided view of this policy – I.e. it’s slave labour and will not e useful to the individual. I think the problem is, as usual, that the Tory’s have gone about this all wrong. Being able to gain work experience, to get back into work – even a a volunteer – is a good think. In line with minimum wage requirements I think the placements should have been for 11 hours
    or less a week and if the individual was seen as doing a good job and the store wanted them for longer then some other arrangements in terms of wages would be necessary.

    However what I also find exceptional is the very hard line view people have taken against a scheme which I must emphasise I agree with only in theory – in terms of supporting people to gain experience. I believe if it had been implemented better, and with the emphasis on what the individual’s themselves could gain (increased confidence, opportunities to learn new skills and be part of a team etc) then perhaps the reaction would have been different. I feel that the issue of unemployment is not simple and that society has a responsibility not just to

  47. 47 Beverley said at 8:52 am on February 21st, 2012:

    Hi
    I wrote yesterday urging the distinction be made between charities and multinational companies. Having though a bit more about there is no distinction to be made when conscription and compulsion is what all these organisations are knowingly signing up to. BOYCOTT ALL WORKFARE!

  48. 48 Iain Duncan Smith is a Lying Bastard Too! | the void said at 11:54 am on February 21st, 2012:

    [...] National Day of Action Against Workfare is on March 3rd.  With government ministers lying through their teeth, the best thing to do is [...]

  49. 49 Work Programme said at 3:28 pm on February 21st, 2012:

    Tesco announces they will give people a choice of voluntary unpaid 4 week placement OR a paid 4 week placement.

    This sounds like spin. Firstly, the offer only exist to those who already selected on the scheme… so they have control over numbers of paid placements. This doesn’t extend to future participants if they don’t wish to.

    As for the unpaid under the scheme… Work Experience is an employment programme. participating in it you are technically employed under social security law. Refusing or failing to attend is treated as giving up a job offer or place in a job.

    There is no regulations amending the JSA Regs 96 to make this “voluntary”.

    Also, work experience is a closed process… we don’t know whether if someone opted to be paid by Tesco to which Tesco has refused to employ them, would be able to walk away from the unpaid placement without benefit sanctions. The law at current suggests not, but it was a “suggestion” from Tesco to make the scheme voluntary. No comment from DWP.

    Not to mention it shouldn’t be possible to work for a big profitable business on a voluntary basis.

    Sounds like a fake compromise to overturn:
    1) bad publicity (i.e. facebook)
    2) boycott of the supermarket on already poor sales, headed by a shit CEO
    3) halt planned protests at Tesco stores
    4) potential legal action against Tesco

    I say, don’t let the PR trick you into increasing their profits.

  50. 50 Name Required said at 10:57 pm on February 21st, 2012:

    What’s a Tescos?

  51. 51 Resist all the Workfare scheme on March 3rd | Coalition of Resistance Against Cuts & Privatisation said at 2:25 pm on February 22nd, 2012:

    [...] Protests are sprouting up across the UK, find one in your city or town here: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  52. 52 Theep said at 3:07 pm on February 22nd, 2012:

    Why not publish a list of the companies using this scheme plus the contact details of the MD (which can be obtained from comapnies house for £1 each), that way we can write to them and tell them we are no longer using their stores.

    It would also be a good idea to organise mass boycotts of these organisations, let them see how it feels to have no money coming in for a few months.

  53. 53 Spencer said at 4:35 pm on February 22nd, 2012:

    I feel that the best way to make these corporations realise that exploiting people and using free labour is strong demonstrations outside their premises. Maybe bring a couple of eggs into the process. This will then bring a police presence (further cost to the government) which will far out way the cost these corporations are saving by exploiting the unemployed. Whatever they save by mandating people onto these disgusting schemes will be wasted policing demonstrations. If it becomes non viable to the companies (bad publicity, mess, hassle) and expensive for the government (to police) maybe this will start to initiate the demise of WP.

    With regards PICKETING JCP – waste of time (public sector – non profit – don’t care) – hitting private organisations will almost certainly cause a reaction one way or another.

    Agree with Work Programme – what happens if someone takes up Tesco’s offer of payment for Training and then doesn’t get accepted – what then happens to Job Seekers (if you work you lose your job seekers – would they then have to start up a new claim) – Major Spin just to stop more demonstrations outside Tesco’s.

    Notice ASDA have been extremely silent with regards their use of WORKFARE. This is a company owned by WALLMART (who don’t allow Unions in their shops) and who have been sued numerous time (GOOGLE THEM). We already know what WALLMART’S stance would be with regards free labour.

  54. 54 Leon said at 11:01 pm on February 22nd, 2012:

    The 3/3 protest is a great idea

    For Sally and David above. Eric above has it spot on.
    I happen to know there are thousands of people working in Jobcentres who are as appalled by this latest attack on the welfare state as you and me. Many only got the job, sometimes temporary, from being ‘on the other side of the counter’. What’s more I know of at least a few who are involved in UK Uncut who will be on these demos on 3 March. There are many in Jobcentres who have seen this coming, drip by drip, for decades, and it’s not just card carrying Tories responsible for it. Ask Tony Blair.
    They fight against it through PCS and other Unions. Never forget for each bxxxxxx Adviser following this there are another 6 who try to circumvent it, often at the peril of losing their job.

    Sorry David and Sally but your comments, though understandable and well intentioned, are about the most depressing capitulation to Camerons ‘Divide and Rule’ I have seen.

    Above all and beyond anything else never forget Unemployment is not an accident. It’s a deliberate political weapon to keep wages low and drive down working conditions. Many in the Jobcentre know that and are also exploited by it.

    Do not fall for it and take the fight to Camerons buddies on the high St, many of whom bankroll the Bxxxxxx

  55. 55 Resist workfare : meeting & demo, Edinburgh‏ « Inspirational Photography said at 11:08 pm on February 22nd, 2012:

    [...] Saturday 3rd March we will be joining people throughout the UK by taking action in Edinburgh against slave labour.  Please come along on Monday to help plan this [...]

  56. 56 curiousaltruistic said at 10:56 am on February 23rd, 2012:

    I just wanted to point out, as has been done already in Guardian and Independent blogs, that Wikipedia provides a suitable and I feel correct term for the UK governments workfare scheme. Historically, going back to the Egyptians and onwards, similar schemes have been called ‘corvee’ by academics. Have a look and I think you will discover that it fits the bill quite nicely!?

  57. 57 Workfare Campaign Activities in Feb and March | Birmingham Against The Cuts said at 1:05 pm on February 23rd, 2012:

    [...] Poundland. Many other towns and cities around the UK are taking action on the 3rd, so if you are not in Birmingham please have a look here for your local demo, or consider organising one yourself Wed 7th [...]

  58. 58 Lorna Lunar said at 1:16 pm on February 23rd, 2012:

    IS ANYTHING HAPPENING TESCO BURSLEDON IN SOUTHAMPTON!!??

  59. 59 UK-Wide Day of Action Against Workfare – (Slavery) – Saturday 3rd March | Sovereign Independent UK said at 5:00 am on February 24th, 2012:

    [...]  E-mail:info@boycottworkfare.org Homepage:http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  60. 60 Grayling Lies Will Come to Haunt Him | the void said at 1:40 pm on February 24th, 2012:

    [...] labour since before this government weren’t elected and issued the call out for the upcoming National Day of Action on March 3rd.  Protests have been taking place around the country for well over a year against the [...]

  61. 61 Pamela said at 1:58 pm on February 24th, 2012:

    Is anyone aware of any action taking place in the Bournemouth, Poole or Southampton areas on March 3rd?

  62. 62 Leon said at 11:55 pm on February 24th, 2012:

    A4E is of course ‘All For Emma’. Some of us sussed that years back. So why is the joke still on us?

  63. 63 Rob8urcakes said at 7:55 am on February 26th, 2012:

    Hey folks, why is ASDA still mentioned as a workfare participant?

    I phoned my local store mid-week and was assured that only 16-17yo’s who were still at school take part in work training for no pay. But all others were paid some sorta wage.

    Was the Manager mistaken or just LYING to me? Coz I then assured him I would remain a customer on the basis that no workfare was taking place, and that I’d pass on his message. If I find he was taking the piss, he’ll be hearing from me again and this time I’ll be putting it in writing to him – but I need HARD EVIDENCE first, ye ken folks?

    Has ASDA HQ made a statement, or is there evidence that ASDA stores somewhere in the UK are indeed taking part in workfare and, if so, which stores where please?

  64. 64 admin said at 12:01 pm on February 26th, 2012:

    Hi Rob,

    Asda definitely takes workfare in some of its stores. See the personal account here: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=306

    They have not issued any statement withdrawing from the scheme, and we have since received reports of other stores where it is still taking place.

  65. 65 Stalin Would Blush at this Government’s Workfare Tantrum | the void said at 1:20 pm on February 26th, 2012:

    [...] the latest list of events taking place next week visit Boycott’s Workfare’s website, or you can find a round up of the plans so far on facebook at: [...]

  66. 66 “It was the Socialist Worker wot won it” – why are the government and media suddenly so interested in the SWP? | Cautiously pessimistic said at 4:26 pm on February 26th, 2012:

    [...] for anyone interested in welfare issues, and Ipswich Unemployed Action is worth a look as well. Boycott Workfare are a genuinely independent grassroots group who’ve been campaigning around this issue since [...]

  67. 67 ATOS Meltdown Continued: Dark Night of the Soul (#DWPPressOffice #workfare #ESA #disabilityUK #ukmh #mhuk #a4e) | The Creative Crip said at 6:53 pm on February 26th, 2012:

    [...] UK-wide day of action against workfare – Saturday 3rd March (boycottworkfare.org) [...]

  68. 68 Leon said at 10:52 pm on February 26th, 2012:

    Rob above, yes it is important stores are accurately targeted. On the other hand, I know there is little to choose between the big high st names, but without pausing I could think of at least half a dozen other reasons to target/boycott ASDA.

    Mainly because as part of the biggest Grocery conglomerate worldwide, Walmart, they are the most viciously repressive and anti Trade Union gangsters out there. Look up some of their practices in the States or even worse in Central Latin America.
    Even the Catholic church(what?) has evidence Walmart have all but been in league with violent anti labour laws and right wing death squads in some countries there.

    Good on you though for checking with your local store manager. We should all pester them more. Maybe you could ring them again if you look up more about Walmart.
    Yes they are all the same but I would visit ASDA like I would buy a South African Apple during Apartheid. NOT!

  69. 69 20 Towns And Cities Line Up to Take Action Against Workfare | the void said at 10:04 am on February 27th, 2012:

    [...] Four actions are set to take place in London alone, in Lewisham, Hackney, Brixton and Central London. Meet outside BHS on Oxford Street at 11.30am, or visit the Boycott Workfare website for details of all protests at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  70. 70 ghost whistler said at 11:52 am on February 27th, 2012:

    If I could attend the nearest protest I would, but thatnks to our wonderful privatised bus service and the risible rates benefits pay, plus the fact crowds make my head spin (not that ATOS care about such issues), I’d be there.

    Workfare is a joke, it’s disgusting, self defeating and typical of our right wing ruling elite (and I include Labour in that as they shed their left wing beliefs years ago).

    You have a scheme where half the people on it get taken on properly, despite that all of them are working! That is not a success Mr Grayling. Perhaps he should go back to what he does best: claiming unnecessary expenses and buy to let.

  71. 71 20 Towns And Cities Line Up to Take Action Against Workfare | News Truth said at 1:45 pm on February 27th, 2012:

    [...] Four actions are set to take place in London alone, in Lewisham, Hackney, Brixton and Central London. Meet outside BHS on Oxford Street at 11.30am, or visit the Boycott Workfare website for details of all protests at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  72. 72 20 Towns And Cities Line Up to Take Action Against Workfare | News Truth said at 1:45 pm on February 27th, 2012:

    [...] Four actions are set to take place in London alone, in Lewisham, Hackney, Brixton and Central London. Meet outside BHS on Oxford Street at 11.30am, or visit the Boycott Workfare website for details of all protests at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  73. 73 All’s fare in love and (class) war | York Anarchists Blog said at 3:48 pm on February 27th, 2012:

    [...] Saturday – 10th March – sees a National Day of Action against workfare. Folks in York will be meeting at the fountain on Parliament Street at 1pm and [...]

  74. 74 Porkie said at 3:31 pm on February 29th, 2012:

    Anti-workfare protest Saturday March 3 in Worthing, West Sussex. Meet 1pm at Bandstand in Montague Place, Montague Street, for Workfare Walk round town centre. Organised by Occupy Worthing.

  75. 75 National Day of Action Against Workfare – 3/3/12 « Benefit Claimants Fightback said at 4:06 pm on February 29th, 2012:

    [...] From Boycott Workfare, visit their site for all the latest updates at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  76. 76 Victory in the campaign against Workfare! But what now? | Liberal Conspiracy said at 7:59 pm on February 29th, 2012:

    [...] Secondly, as many have said on Twitter, in some cases disabled people are still being forced on to these schemes without proper pay. Boycott Workfare are still organising actions around the country on 3rd March. [...]

  77. 77 Protest against workfare slave labour in Milton Keynes this Saturday, March 3rd | Milton Keynes & Northampton Communists said at 11:20 am on March 1st, 2012:

    [...] campaign group Boycott Workfare have called a national day of action against workfare for this Saturday, March 3rd. The Coalition [...]

  78. 78 Tash said at 11:02 pm on March 1st, 2012:

    Bournemouth Evening Echo were taking on loads of mandatory staff, via a ‘charity’ (Bournemouth Churches Housing Association) at the same time their owner (NewsQuest Media) were sacking 200 staff in Southampton and their sister paper (Exchange and Mart) sacked 100 at Poole and the main paper in Bournemouth were shedding 2 telesales staff a week.
    No way you can get any coverage of peaceful protests down here then!
    F### the system!

  79. 79 Weekend of Online Action Against Workfare – Saturday 3rd – Sunday 4th March « Benefit Claimants Fightback said at 1:08 pm on March 2nd, 2012:

    [...] Protests against workfare will be taking place in 35 (and counting) locations tomorrow as part of a National Day of Action called by Boycott Workfare.  For the latest details of protests visit their website at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  80. 80 Weekend of Online Action Against Workfare – Saturday 3rd – Sunday 4th March » DPAC said at 3:23 pm on March 2nd, 2012:

    [...] Protests against workfare will be taking place in 35 (and counting) locations tomorrow as part of a National Day of Action called by Boycott Workfare.  For the latest details of protests visit their website at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  81. 81 Dave Plummer said at 5:09 pm on March 3rd, 2012:

    Congratulations for being behind such a fantastic day at the end of a surprisingly productive week.

    It’s one battle among many but it’s an important one and every chink in the Neo-Lib Lab/Lib/Con armour weakens them.

  82. 82 ghost whistler said at 6:40 pm on March 3rd, 2012:

    Good job to all concerned. We need to send a message to the scum in power. We won’t stand for their abuse anymore.

  83. 83 Lincoln Workfare Protest « Lincoln Underground Collective said at 10:38 am on March 13th, 2012:

    [...] Protests against workfare will be taking place in 35 (and counting) locations tomorrow as part of a National Day of Action called by Boycott Workfare.  For the latest details of all protests visit their website at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=359 [...]

  84. 84 Tesco under pressure to withdraw from unpaid work experience schemes - Government Tenders, Government News and Information - Government Online said at 3:33 pm on December 12th, 2012:

    [...] campaign group Boycott Workfare has said it is organising a protest for 3 March to target firms involved in what it has described as modern-day slave [...]


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