Sunday, 19 February 2012

Workfare protests spread across UK

MORE protests are being organised across the UK against the workfare scheme that forces people to work for nothing and subsidises wealthy corporations.

The news comes after a high-profile protest in London on Saturday when the Westminster branch of Tesco was forced to close.
Says Boycott Workfare, which has called the day of action for Saturday March 3: "So many high street stores are involved in taking on forced unpaid labour that there is plenty of choice – Tesco's, Asda, Holland & Barrett, Primark, HMV, and Topshop to name but a few. Get a group together, make a plan, and head to the streets.

"Workfare means that those who need welfare are forced into unpaid work for multi-million pound companies. Instead of a living wage, they receive only JSA – a tiny £53 a week for the under-25s – far below minimum wage.

"Workfare means those in paid positions may see their jobs replaced by this unpaid labour. Why would a company pay for people to do these jobs when they can get free labour from the Job Centre?

"We can put a stop to this forced unpaid labour – Waterstones, Sainsburys and TK Maxx have all recently announced that they would no longer take unpaid placements – the other companies just need a bit more encouragement to stop this exploitation.

"We demand an end to this exploitation and call for welfare rights and living wages for all! If you continue to exploit us we WILL shut you down!

"Let us know what you’re planning. The campaign is UK-wide!"

Details of March 3 actions:
  • Birmingham – 11.30am outside Poundland on Union Street. Facebook event.
  • Brighton - Brighton has already established an anti-workfare group which in January targeted Poundland. Join them at Tescos on James St from 11.30am-1pm. More info
  • Bristol – 12 noon at College Green. More info.
  • Cardiff - 2pm Outside Poundland on Queen Street. See Facebook event.
  • Leeds - See Facebook event. And join the Tesco demo on Monday 20th Feb.
  • Liverpool – Take action with UK Uncut, 1pm until 4pm. Meet Next to Nowhere Social Centre, Bold Street, Liverpool. More info
  • London – Meet outside BHS on Oxford Street, 11:30am. More info and download a leaflet.
  • Sheffield – Meet Devonshire Green, Sheffield, 1pm. We will meet at 1pm and decide on a target. See Facebook event.
  • Tunbridge Wells – Meet at the Millennium clock in Tunbridge Wells at 12 noon.
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