Saturday 27th June, National Day of Action against B&M Bargains – the DWP’s pet exploiter

B&M action call out image

Get in touch to order leaflets for the Day of Action on 27th June!

B&M Bargains have won a ‘prestigious’ workfare industry award for their use of forced unpaid labour. We need to let them know this has not gone unnoticed. They need to understand that it is unacceptable to have this sort of exploitation take place in our communities.

B&M bargains are a private, profit making company (they made over £100 million last year) and yet it won’t pay its workers for their labour. People on workfare are given sanctions (loose their benefits) if they don’t work for free, and even when they do work they are sanctioned for ‘misdemeanours’ such as being late. Sanctions mean that claimants loose their basic means of survival – the money they need for food, bills and other necessities. Sanctions are a major cause of the rise in the use of foodbanks.

Apart from exploiting claimants, workfare also undermines the hours and conditions of paid employees at B&M. As with all workfare placements in the private sector, workfare provides free labour that replaces paid jobs.

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:

“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.”

“older or long term staff were sacked and a new wave of 20 workfare placements taken on.”

“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.”

With no sense of irony, ERSA awarded B&M Bargains ‘Large Employer of the Year’ for such behaviour. With almost no large charities (except for Salvation Army, sigh) and so many companies refusing to be part of workfare, such self-congratulatory awards start to smell more than a little of desperation!

B&M’s destruction of paid jobs and exploitation of claimnants is NOT something that we think a company should be congratulated for. Because ESRA, who gave this award, have no sense of irony and because we do…

Come out on Saturday 27th June and help ‘celebrate’ their award outside their stores:

  • Make it noisy – bring pots and pans and wooden spoons 
  • Bring trumpets, drums, whistles and kazoos 
  • Make it colourful
  • Bring a message small or big for B&M Bargains

Workfare can only take place if there are employers willing to take advantage of forced labour. And these employers will only do so if they think they can get away with it. Public pressure, protests, pickets and social media campaigns have already been hugely successful in forcing businesses and charities to pull out.

People can only be sent on workfare placements if there is somewhere to send them. Let’s make it impossible to do this!

Not on this street, not in this city!

How to get involved:

Use twitter, facebook and direct action to expose B&M Stores and call for a boycott of their stores

Find a B&M Bargains near you and join or organise a protest there

Get together to create banners, signs and share ideas


Comments (9)

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florence arthur

I find it repugnant , unacceptable that in this 21st century , our workers are made to work for nothing , that is classed as SLAVE LABOUR, AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED BY WE IN UK .


Where is this protest taking place?

Update: Boycott Workfare at B&M and more…. | Leeds Welfare Fightback – against sanctions, benefit cuts and work misery

[…] of welfare activists called by Boycott Workfare.  Following this, we plan to take part in a national day of action on Saturday 27th June against B&M stores. B&M have just won an award for their partnership […]

More notes from the struggle: early June round-up | Cautiously pessimistic

[…] a large and militant demo that tore down fences at Yarl’s Wood detention centre yesterday, the upcoming national day of action against workfare at B&M stores on June 27th, and the Anti-Fascist Network have published two guides to setting up a local anti-fascist group […]

The Biggest Attack On Wages Yet, Sectors With High Vacancies To Get Thousands Of Workfare Workers | the void

[…] the Day of Action Against B&M Stores on June […]


is anyone in the angus area going, if so leave a message i would be interested in joining you


If there is any interest in Southend I have added an event on the Castle Point 38 Degrees website. Please get in touch so I can confirm this event.


Though this might be taking things a bit too far, some of the comments BTL are hilarious

Joking aside B&M are a disgusting company for using Workfare.


Hey they might pull out of Workfare sooner if everyone protested like this.!

Sadly it was probably one of their Workfare slaves 'employed' for about a third of NMW under threat of destitution who had to clear it up.

B&M are a rotten company who shamelessly exploit unemployed people, their website boasts of their profits and growth..what about the poor bastards forced to work there?? when will they see a piece of the pie..?

don't hold your breath