Another amazing day for the campaign. It’s reported that ministers will hold “crisis talks” with Tesco this week to try and keep them on board what looks increasingly like a sinking ship. Maplin has tweeted that it will join the list of retailers to pull out of the government’s forced unpaid labour schemes.
Oxfam has confirmed to us verbally that it will not accept workfare in any of its forms. This is particularly good news for one person on our Facebook page who was due to start Mandatory Work Activity with them next week! The fact that they already had policy against it highlights how slyly workfare is being pushed by the government and their workfare profiteers, as well as how slowly the third sector more widely has been to respond to this attack on volunteering. The fact that placements are often organised by local shops rather than at a national level is no excuse, and it is great to see Oxfam taking action to make sure all of their stores stick to its policy. We look forward to seeing their public statement.
Boots, Pizza Hut and HMV should take a leaf out of their book. They are all telling people that they do not arrange workfare centrally, and refusing to take responsibility for what happens in their local stores. It’s clear they’re still willing to see people forced to work unpaid in their stores. Keep up the pressure and we reckon we can persuade them otherwise!
The action you are taking is working. Keep telling everyone you know and keep up the pressure on the brands who are still profiting from forced unpaid labour. More tomorrow.