The British Heart Foundation, contacted by a Boycott Workfare campaigner back in November, were insistent that they “would not actively encourage any placements, regardless of the scheme name, where the person involved is not a willing participant…” But PBarclays, a commenter on the Guardian’s cif pages, is willing alright, willing their time at the British Heart Foundation under a MWA placement to come to an end, speaking of the charity they say:
Lets get things straight, I am being FORCED to work for one of these SO CALLED CHARITIES, I dont know if im allowed to name them here but they are running a prominent ad campaign with vinnie jones and initials BHF…
This “charity” is treating me and fellow workers who have been placed there like garbage and we are working our arses off for 6 hours+ a day for dole money, there is no way that this “charity” would be able to function without this free slave labour and they would have to “hire” some real workers with real wages if it wasn’t for this scheme.
I am going to advise all my friends and family NEVER to donate to this charity or any other charity that is exploiting people using the “work programme” these “charities” are no better morally than private sector companies and probably treat the work programme people worse than they would be in the private sector.
Constant threats of sanction if everything is not done on time or in the way they want, I hate seeing the way they demoralise people and make them feel like human garbage. Its disgusting its despicable and “charity” is not a name that belongs to most of these charities, they are a disgrace.
According to the British Heart Foundation, PBarclays would have had a choice in the matter of their being there, as s/he would have had “an informal chat with them to ascertain their interest in our organisation and the work experience we can offer.” And that, resulting of this conversation: “If either side feels it is not beneficial, then we do not accept people for placement. The agencies who manage the placements then source an alternative. In these situations, the candidate will not have their benefits affected.”
It is unfortunate that the British Heart Foundation fail to understand that the very reflex of workfare is the imposition at which the jobseeker faces threat of sanction to their benefit, and that choice therefore is no option. And if not a failure to understand, plain uncaring in the situation of PBarclays’s workfare cohorts:
“… I am on MWA and at least 4+ others are there on “the work programme” (not voluntary). I’ve seen them threatened with sanctions by the ingeus people infront of the store manager, the store manager says any sanctions are not my problem, you are here to “do the job” he says “I have a business to run” basically fall in line or I’ll make the phonecall and your claim will be sanctioned for 6 months end of story. It makes sense that someone like Vinnie Jones is running the campaign because thats basically how the place is run and representative of the people behind the company.”
The British Heart Foundation have since been contacted again and made aware of PBarclays case, but make no direct comment, other than to insist once more that a discussion occurs prior to placement. Worryingly, the organisation cannot consult its political heart because it claims not to have one, though in accepting this government policy one might suggest it is blue and yellow. British Heart Foundation has not yet ditched its workfare involvement.