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Government must reveal workfare exploiters!

Salvation Army International and UK HQs were paid a surprise visit to launch the week of action. [Photo: Sinister Pics]

The government must now reveal the list of workfare exploiters, which it fears mean the schemes will ‘collapse’. But it praised Salvation Army for ‘holding the line’. [Photo: Sinister Pics]

Some great news: The government has lost its appeal and must reveal the organisations that have used Mandatory Work Activity, Work Experience, and Work Programme placements. That means we’re going to be able to show those organisations what we think of them profiting from free labour!

The evidence the government submitted reveals what a huge impact your actions have had. They argued:

“The activities of campaign groups and the results of negative publicity meant that… “a great many placement organisations” had ceased to offer placements. That in turn reduced the numbers of opportunities available across both programmes with a loss of many placements and prospective new placements being at risk.” (Point 109)

This adds to the evidence that emerged earlier in the week that numbers of people on “Government employment schemes” (read ‘workfare’) have dropped by 16,000 this quarter. We also heard that Seetec were complaining at an industry conference last week how difficult it is to find placements nowadays because employers are worried about protest. The DWP’s appeal revealed that one subcontractor has complained about a loss of 100 placements per week in its area alone (point 93).

That is your actions – whether building pressure online, spreading the word, withholding donations, boycotting shops, joining a picket or staging an occupation – helping push back forced unpaid work in the UK.

The government feared that “Put simply, disclosure [of names] would have been likely to have led to the collapse of the MWA [Mandatory Work Activity] scheme”. Let’s do our best to make sure it does! Keep your eyes peeled for the release of the names and get ready to step up the pressure on those profiting from forced labour.

Special congratulations go to Frank Zola for pursuing this to the Information Tribunal. The full decision can be enjoyed here. (Of particular note are points 28, 29, 67, 70-75, 93, 94, 96, 99, 100, 103, 109, 127, 133, 176, 196)

Since the Salvation Army gets a special mention from the DWP for ‘holding the line’ (point 196), you may like to take this opportunity to remind them why this position is just so inconsistent with their Christian values. The Salvation Army UK can be contacted on facebook, by phone (020 7367 4500), by email (info@salvationarmy.org.uk). More background on their involvement and contact details can be found here, or you can tweet at them:

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Obi Wan Kenobi

What is needed now is a universal template for a sticker that we all can print off on our home printers, in various sizes from small to large, in colour and black & white.

We can then stick these to the firms windows and other surfaces who exploit people though Workfare and as they are exploiting people on Workfare it can't be classed as slander or be illegal.

Gary Donaldson

Damned good idea , i'd do it myself but unfortunately my artistic talents are almost non existent but i'm sure there must be many artists out there who would happily take this on and distribute said Template for free , i'd certainly use it .

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Gissajob

A word of congratulation to those who made the complaints and had the courage and tenacity to follow to this conclusion.
Well done!

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ECAP

Well done to those brave people who brought the case.

It's worth mentioning that the Employment Director of the Salvation Army is Helen Robinson. She is also on the board of ERSA, the providers trade body. Which no doubt goes some way to explain why the Salavation Army has refused to bowl to the anti-workfare protests!

Jeff

"But it praised Salvation Army for ‘holding the line’."

It would appear that the Salvation Army are using a security employer (GMC Security) to hold the line. Does anyone know anything about this employer that the SA are interested in sending Work Programme participants to?

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/158198/response/392017/attach/html/4/Mark%20Hoban%20letter%20Redacted%20copy.pdf.html

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[…] of a few interesting stories and upcoming events: on the benefits front, the big news of late is the legal victory won by workfare campaigners over the DWP, in a case which the government had previ…. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the government will actually comply with the court’s […]