Sanction B&M Stores: our labour, their profits

Workfare exploiters B&M Stores

If you exploit us, we will close you down

Take action against persistent workfare exploiters B&M Stores as part of the Week of Action vs Workfare and Sanctions!

B&M Stores has won an award from the workfare industry for their support for forced unpaid labour. The harsh reality of their involvement is exploitation of claimants – people working for nothing under the constant threat of sanctions – and workfare being used to reduce overtime and replace paid staff.

“B&M stores started using workfare Jan 2013. Receiving free labour and stopping overtime for employees with contracts. The people forced to do this free labour are not happy and neither are the other workers.”

Boycott Workfare has had several reports of reduced hours for paid staff as well as the practice of employing paid staff on a trial basis, sacking them after 12 weeks, and replacing them with workfare placements.

“Just to let you know B&M Stores have taken on new staff under a workfare scheme. This was 1 month after staff hours were cut by 50%. This meant my hours were cut from 20 to 10.”

B&M Stores made over £100 million profit last year but still they use forced unpaid labour.

B&M Stores have over 400 stores from Perth in Scotland to Portsmouth in the South of England. They have expanded by using workfare grabs from any local JobCentrePlus. It has been reported that in one B&M Store “older or long term staff were sacked and a new wave of 20 workfare placements taken on.”

What you can do:

Thanks to your efforts, more and more businesses and charities are withdrawing from workfare.  Keep up the pressure and let B&M Stores know:  ‘if they exploit us, we will close them down!’

Use twitter, facebook and direct action to expose B&M Stores and call for a boycott of their stores.  Workfare exploits claimants and means poorer pay and conditions for all workers.


Email customer services

Phone: 0151 728 5400 (remember to speak politely)


Visit their Corporate Website

You could also let workfare apologists ERSA know what you think about awards that celebrate companies that profit from exploiting claimants.


Comments (3)

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Dennis Clapham

The Tories boast about bringing the UK into ‘recovery’. However, in Sept 2014, and for the very first time; every donation made to charity and work done by a volunteer has been estimated/calculated and its ‘value’ was then included in GDP. Each can of soup donated, every hour worked as a volunteer contributed £25 Billion GDP. Altogether, £48 Billion was ‘magically’ created by nefarious means using Excel worksheets to ‘infer’ growth. (£12 Billion of that £48 Billion came from estimated/calculated ‘income’ to prostitutes and drug dealing.) We need to be clear here, money to the treasury did not pass from pimp, or dealer, or volunteer to the exchequer. It was ‘created’ out of thin air in much the same way as the debt we are being made to repay; on an ‘Excel’ worksheet.
The manner by which a full £25 Billion was created courtesy of charity has more serious implications. The work program is delivered through charitable institutions such as RBLI, who themselves are sub-contracted by G4S. Through RBLI any individual being made to work as volunteer will not be ‘paid’ for the labour they have done but the business will benefit from their unpaid labour, be it swept floors, customers served, or stuff being stacked on shelves. However, the ‘value’ of this ‘volunteer labour’ is ‘Magically’ doubled. The business gets the labour for free; 30 hours at minimum wage will be approximately £200 and equates to £200 saved from the costs of running that business. At one and the same time the treasury ‘GENERATES’ 30 hours x Min wage and awards that £200 to itself without needing to find its way through the ‘real’ economy via spending.
In a situation where the ‘worker’ gets no wage, the ‘employer’ gains 100% VALUE from the ‘physicality’ of the labour done, the treasury gains 100% VALUE through the knowledge of the labour being done; what you have left and standing in the middle is a bone fide slave. The threat of sanctions and the constant pressure coming from work programmes becomes the allegorical whip associated with slavery. Ironically the unvalued volunteer is worth twice that of the minimum wage colleague working alongside them. Charity is again being gamed by financiers and Politicians alike.
The real danger is when you reach the point where unpaid-volunteer labour have a greater economic value than actual paid labour, the trend towards unpaid work can only grow. This puts real jobs at risk as full time jobs are increasingly split into part time roles in a first wave ‘restructures’; then chopped into short little shifts in a subsequent ‘restructure’. Seen it, experienced it, and see it happening all around me. Try finding a full time role with some of our major employers; a supermarket or a store. There are none. Instead they are continually reducing the hours of their employees to take their wages below the threshold where the employer has to pay contributions to national insurance. Another little wrinkle to avoid tax, cut costs, and be more ‘efficient/competitive’. They want us to ‘shop’, but they are reluctant to pay a wage that enables their employers to do so. How long will it take for that little contradiction to click a switch in people’s heads?
Which brings us to irony. The unexpected increase in GDP last year resulted in the EU sending the UK a bill for £1.7 Billion. This caught the Tories by surprise. Seriously, did they expect the EU would allow UK PLC to get away with collecting cash from the backs of prostitutes without demanding a ‘cut’ of the spoils for themselves? The EU has been working that scam for years and they were not going to allow the UK economy to sneak that golden egg under the table. The Coalition gloated that David quickly managed to reduce that bill to £800 Million. Further to this, David managed to offset the remaining £900 Million in an ‘off-set’ against a future VAT payment. However, whether the £1.7 Billion is paid today or deferred/deflected to another year; that sum of £1.7 Billion will still need to be found at some point in time. This “1.7 Billion not be ‘generated’ by the ‘mage’ excel as that £48 Billion was, it will instead be ‘collateralised’ through making even more drastic cuts in Government spending. Irony squared; if that £48 Billion had not been created in the first place; that £1.7 Billion bill would not have dropped onto our laps.

jason smith

The same should be done to asda, i was "sacked" with out good enough reason. and the reason was so weak, "team intergration issues" is what they put it down to becuase i didnt want to get involved with the backstabbing that every one else was doing.

my roll as an order picker that i took pride in was given to a person on work fair whos made more mistakes than any one else i know while i was there, if i had done that many mistakes id have been fired for incompetence

Fuck you asda and any one else who sacks hard working honest workers and replaces them with workfair who tbh dont give a crap about what they are doing.


My son, age 19 was a worker for nothing at B&M in Tollgate Colchester, sent there by Jobcentre Plus, Colchester. Then, after his work for nothing period finished, he got a 4 hour contract, which was just recently increased to 16 hours. Then, at the 12 week mark, today, he was called in by a new manager of 1 day standing, and basically told his work had been unsatisfactory, that he had two choices, resign and get a good reference, or get the sack. He has worked hard and he has even positioned high in productivity competitions. They are simply exploitative greedy monsters. Just as another 12 free triallists started...he lost all his extra hours and now he get's the boot...go figure. My son doesn't want a fuss - of course if I had my way, my legal know how and experience of life would be taking that manager and greedy B&M all the way to insomnia, for their appalling employment practises. But they are that's another argument.