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Take action online: Workfare Profiteers’ annual get together

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Previous conferences of workfare profiteers have faced occupations, disruption and twitterstorms to challenge their business of carving up welfare for profit. Take action online on Monday 1 December!

Monday 1st December is conference time for the ‘Employment Related Services Association’ whose speciality is ‘Championing the welfare to work industry’, i.e. lobbying and spin for workfare profiteers.

The profiteers have a luxury hotel booked for this annual celebration of all the money they are making from workfare. An opportunity to hear Esther McVey describe her plans to psychometrically test the unemployed for ‘resistance to work’. Not to be outdone, she’ll be joined by shadow employment minister Stephen Timms; just to prove that Labour and the Con/Dems are as one when it comes to their commitment to workfare, sanctions and the dismantling of labour rights.

If you don’t have the £450 registration fee to hand, you could always find other ways to let ERSA know your views on people whose profits depend on forced unpaid labour and the no pay/low pay economy that workfare sustains.

If you haven’t come across this lot before, here’s a helpful glossary for the language they use from Another Angry Voice:

Voluntary = Forced
Support = Punishment
Opportunity = Compulsion
Help = Hindrance

Let them know what you think of people who make money from ‘help to work’ contracts designed to annihilate workers’ rights and plunge those who resist into poverty and destitution.

Tweet them:
Phone: 0203 757 9415 (always worth asking for a senior manager – the person answering the phone could well be on workfare themselves. The Chief Executive is Kirsty McHugh)
Email: membership@ersa.org.uk

It’s no surprise to find support for this festival of workfare exploiters coming from the Shaw Trust, the Papworth Trust, Tomorrow’s People and Groundwork. But it’s disappointing to find Julia Unwin from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the programme – in a session headed ‘better together’. Even more troubling that she’s on the platform with Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham Council and responsible for evicting the Focus E15 Mothers.

Then on 3rd December, the Institute of Employability Professionals (making a career out of delivering workfare) is holding a leadership event at the Olympic Park, London. Book your place at events@iemployability.org They say you are welcome to bring a friend.

Previous workfare profiteers’ conferences have faced occupations, disruption and twitterstorms to challenge their business of carving up welfare for profit. We know that taking action is effective! Workfare is falling apart – as more and more organisations refuse to take on forced labour. Without placements, the ‘employability’ sector will collapse.

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Landless Peasant

I asked at my Jobcentre about Fester McVile's so-called 'attitude test' and they denied all knowledge. McVile's office replied to me claiming that no one could 'fail' the test as it wasn't about passing or failing, apparently, but to identify who needs further 'help'. Luckily it appears that I am amongst those who have now been 'parked' until after the next election, and so am not required to compulsorily receive their 'help', thank God.

Snouts In The Trough: Tell The Vile Welfare-To-Work Sector What You Think At #ERSA14 | the void

[…] Boycott Workfare have called an online action to hold these parasites to account for their role in the UK’s biggest and nastiest benefit fraud.  Hundreds of millions of pounds  are handed over to this industry every year to harass and bully unemployed and disabled people by forcing them to attend workfare and bogus training schemes.  Claimants are more likely to face benefit sanctions on these programmes than they are likely to find a job.  Sometime those sanctions have tragic results, with a growing number of suicides linked to the current regime. […]