While the campaign against workfare continues to go from strength to strength, the government’s workfare policy continues to flounder. At yesterday’s “How do we break workfare?” national conference organised by Brighton Benefits Campaign, links between groups were strengthened, and a UK-wide network established. Ideas and information were shared and ways forward planned, including a week of action from 7-14 July, a counter conference during the Welfare to Work convention (10-11 July), a national boycott of Holland & Barrett, calling on unions to actively challenge workfare, and importantly stepping up informing people of their rights. A great day was had by all. Watch this space for more on these plans.
The need for us all to continue to act could not be more urgent. Next week, a panicked government will announce that it intends to rapidly increase the numbers of people forced to carry out six month stints of workfare.
The government has also decided to delay releasing figures of its workfare success rate. Little wonder when the Employment Related Services Association, the trade body for welfare-to-work providers, warned the government only last week that its members may not meet the government’s “minimum” targets in getting people back into work.
The message is clear. Those of us who oppose workfare in all its forms are winning. There has never been a better time for you, your workplace and your union branch to get involved and say no to workfare. After all, we know where we are going. Come with us. We are going to win. Boycott Exploitation. Boycott Workfare.