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.
There’s action in Birmingham on Friday, and more planned in the coming weeks, including this action in Liverpool. Let us know what you plan and we’ll help spread the word!
The fightback against Workfare continues on Saturday September 8th with a Liverpool Workfare Tour of Shame through the city centre, targeting corrupt retailers who continue to exploit claimants as a source of unpaid labour.
Workfare involves forcing claimants into unpaid work or face loss of benefits. Tens of millions of hours of unpaid work have taken place at profit-making businesses, such as Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Argos, Peacocks and Currys/PC World. Recently, charities, such as Scope, Salvation Army, Cancer Research UK and the RSPCA have been exposed as using claimants forced to work in their shops or face loss of benefits. Read the rest of this entry »
A couple of weeks ago, Kings Heath Against Workfare, a group campaigning to end workfare on their local high street in a Birmingham suburb took their first action – a Workfare Walk of Shame. This action was very successful, and is something they felt should be repeated in other places. In fact, there will be two more walks of shame in Birmingham in April – on Easter Monday in the city centre, and on Saturday 28th in Acocks Green. Here is a guide to repeating the action on your high street, from Tom who led the walk in the video above.
The walk of shame works really well because you are visible up and down the high street for a good hour, and as shoppers move from shop to shop, they see you time and again outside different places – this helps people to realise how widespread workfare is, and understand that this isn’t a little problem or isolated example.
The first time they walked past you, they might not take a leaflet, but the second or third time, they will.
As you move from shop to charity shop you can explain the workfare schemes and problems with workfare, which gives the people who came along a much greater knowledge of the subject. Choose what you will talk about outside each shop and relate it directly to that place.
The step by step guide to running a workfare walk of shame (pun most definitely intended!):