Take part in the Manchester Boycott Workfare Action Against Mustard Tree

Workfare is forcing people to work for free using the threat of sanctions (removal of welfare benefits).  DWP Workfare schemes have already led to thousands relying on food handouts, caused or aggravated mental health issues, suicides and homelessness. Yet unbelievably, despite this being well documented and researched, a charity who work with homeless people are using Workfare!

Come along to let a charity that works with the homeless understand that it’s unacceptable to use workfare – an exploitative programme that causes poverty and destitution.

Where and when? December 22nd, 12pm at Mustard Tree, 110 Oldham Rd, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6AG

Unlike most users in the voluntary sector, who do their best to snidely disguise or hide their involvement, Mustard Tree have openly defended their use of this forced labour. This, despite acknowledging the fundamental injustices of  workfare and the sanctions regime that underpins it.

Some classic quotes from Mustard Tree:

”On one hand the jobless should not be forced to undertake work or to work for their benefits…”

“Increasingly the good people that Mustard Tree has traditionally supported are trapped in WorkFare.”

“we oppose some of the core elements of Workfare”

Mustard Tree, if you want to offer valuable and genuinely voluntary placements, then do. But don’t actively support a regime of forced labour that punishes and starves those who choose not to be involved or turn up late one day. Using workfare means being part of a system that contributes to homelessness, that takes financial resources away from this exact community. It makes a mockery of the concept of volunteering and a mockery of the idea of a charity who help the homeless.

If you can’t make the demonstration in Manchester on Monday, then you can . And Mustard Tree can be reached on the phone (01612287331) and by email (

Come out and stand in solidarity with homeless people and all those forced to undergo this exploitative regime. Show Mustard Tree that we will not tolerate this in our city: that there can be no place for unpaid and forced labour anywhere, let alone in a homeless charity.


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Practical resistance: direct action and campaign victories from London, Brighton, Dorset and Liverpool | Cautiously pessimistic

[…] help out tomorrow, it’s an ongoing campaign so there should be other opportunities to help out. In Manchester, there’s a protest against workfare exploiters Mustard Tree on Monday. In other workfare news, Haringey Solidarity Group have been making good progress towards […]

John Stenson

I was unhappy a few years ago when I had been unable to attend a Boxing Day fixture (Big Coat Day) due to my car breaking down. I consequently drove to the Mustard Tree shop (picking up a parking fine into the bargain) and was appalled to find clothing and other goods on sale which had clearly been given as a charity donation. I do seriously wonder where our normal 6.5 tonnes donation ends up. Worrying.

Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Mustard Tree: from workfare exploiter to workfare refuser

[…] time unpaid work, carried out under threat of sanctions.   Boycott Workfare Greater Manchester first picketed Mustard Tree in December 2014.  Then again at the end of January 2015, again on March 21st, and again in November.  On January […]