As the general election campaign gets underway we are already seeing politicians calling for more of the same policies. More workfare. More sanctions. Yet we know that these policies have been a total disaster. It is shameful that workfare and sanctions are supported by all the main political parties. This is why we are holding a week of action in the week before the election. We need your help to expose and challenge workfare and sanctions policies and the political lies that underpin them.
Workfare undermines paid jobs and wages and results in sanctions. It does nothing to improve the chances of people finding a job and exploits those forced to carry it out. Last year over half a million people had their benefits sanctioned. The number of benefit sanctions imposed by the DWP now exceeds the number of fines imposed by the courts. People are being left with nothing for up to three years. There is now overwhelming evidence of the harm being caused by sanctions. Sanctions are damaging the health of claimants and leading to hunger, homelessness and deaths.
Your actions have already had a huge impact in challenging these policies. Dozens of organisations have withdrawn from the schemes following public pressure. Over 500 voluntary sector organisations have now signed the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement to say they oppose workfare and sanctions and will not be involved. 25 councils have also said they will boycott the schemes. All this means it is getting harder and harder for the government’s private providers to find workfare placements. Hundreds of placements have been cancelled and your actions have made a real difference.
The week of action is a chance for everyone who opposes workfare and sanctions to demand an end to these cruel policies. However you can contribute join us to take action from 25 April – 2 May:
- Join in with online actions throughout the week!
- Ask charities you support to sign the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement!
- Speak out! Tell those promoting workfare and sanctions what you think of their policies!
- Hand out our know-your-rights leaflets at your local jobcentre!
- Plan actions at a workfare exploiter near you!
Remember to let us know what you plan so we can help to publicise it!
Join the Facebook event and invite others to take part too!
Actions announced so far:
23rd April, Wirral – Help Esther McVey lose her seat! (DPAC action)
25th April, Bexley, London – Sanction Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice Shops
25th April, Haringey, London – 1.30pm to 2.30pm. Picket of North London Hospice in Turnpike Lane.
25th April, Leeds – Leeds Welfare Fightback will be out in Briggate at 12-3pm on the Saturdays and throughout the week with stalls and leaflets
25th April, Chingford – IDS – the Butcher of Benefits must go! (DPAC action)
26th April, Haringey, London – 12 noon to 1pm. Picket of North London Hospice in Turnpike Lane. Meet outside the shop at 12 noon.
[EXPAND 26th-30th April, Haringey, London – Daily leafleting at Job Centre ]
Monday 27th April – 10am to 11am. leafleting outside Wood green Job centre (where Mayes Rd meets Western Rd, N22). meet there. We will be leafleting claimants signing on to chat about Community Work Programme and if they are on it and who is their provider.
Tuesday 28th April – 11am to 12 noon. leafleting outside Tottenham Job Centre (roughly on the corner of Tottenham High Rd and Lordship Lane). Reason – as above.
Wednesday 29th April – 11am to 12 noon. leafleting outside Wood green Job centre (where Mayes Rd meets Western Rd, N22). meet there. Reason – as above.
Thursday 30th April – 12 noon to 1pm. leafleting outside Wood green Job centre (where Mayes Rd meets Western Rd, N22). meet there. Reason – as above.
Friday 1st May – 3.30pm to 4.30pm. leafleting outside Wood green Job centre (where Mayes Rd meets Western Rd, N22). meet there. Reason – as above.
29th April, Edinburgh – Demonstrate at High Riggs Jobcentre, by Tollcross, Edinburgh
29th April, Glasgow – 1.30-3pm – protest against sanctions outside Newlands Job Centre, 8 Coustonholm Road, Glasgow, G43 1SS
29th April, Walthamstow – Waltham Forest Unite Community are leafletting ASDA and 3 charity shops from 1-4pm on the High St, Walthamstow, E17. Ring 07954047527 for more info.
29th April, Brixton, London – 12pm Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth will be leafleting outside Brixton Job Centre
30th April, Drumchapel – Protest against Benefit Sanctions – Drumchapel Jobcentre
1st May, Bristol – Bristol May day demo – Combat Workfare
1st May, Kilburn, London – 10-11am Leafleting outside Kilburn Jobcentre
2nd May, Central London – Sanction the Salvation Army
2nd May, Swindon – 14.30pm until 16.00pm, outside Primark in town centre