Meet the Job Snobs – Who’s out of Workfare (and who’s still in)

Job snobs Sainsbury’s, Waterstones, TK Maxx, 99p Stores and Maplin have all made statements that they will pull out of workfare.  Miss Selfridge also said on facebook yesterday that their company does not participate in the government’s workfare schemes. Matalan have suspended their use of the scheme.

Superdrug have said they will not be taking on any new candidates, which presumably means they won’t be paying the workfare slaves they already have.  Support your local drug dealer instead.  Poundland, which as it turns out refers to the wages they pay as well as the cost of the broken toys they sell, have said the scheme is under review.

Of the major charities involved Marie Curie have pulled out, Oxfam are expected to make a statement any time soon, and SCOPE have suspended their workfare activity.  Whether this includes pulling out of the Work Programme delivery is so far unclear.  Shelter have also announced they abandoned the scheme last year.

(if you are on or expected to start workfare at any of the above let us know in the comments or contact Boycott Workfare.  Let’s make sure no-one’s telling porkies)

According to Boycott Workfare – Boots, HMV and Pizza Hut have confirmed they will not arrange placements centrally, but are happy to let local stores do so.  HMV are going out of business anyway, boycott them and help speed things up.  Alternatively steal your music from the internet like a normal person.

Age UK are reviewing the situation and MIND say they will no longer use workfare in their shops.  Mencap say they don’t have any shops, but won’t use workfare volunteers.  Neither MIND, Mencap or any of the other Disability Works charities appear to be pulling out of the Work Programme scheme – more on this later.

PDSA, Banardos and the British Heart Foundation have kindly said we can email them about any concerns we may have about workfare.  Cancer Research (@CR_UK), and Capability Scotland (@Capability_Scot) have decided to simply ignore the scores of people who have contacted them.

God botherers the Salvation Army (@salvationarmyuk) are unrepentant. This is hardly surprising. They don’t just employ workfare staff but also appear to have a contract bullying people onto workfare. On their website they say: “Providing short-term work experience for unemployed people is part of our provision for those in need”. Forced labour is good for you, especially as the Jesus army states one of their priorities is ensuring vulnerable people are “less dependent on the state”.

ASDA, Arcadia, Holland & Barrett, Mcdonalds, Burger King and Primark appear to have no qualms about using forced labour to keep profits high and have kept schtum. The most shocking statement of all comes from Argos (@argos_online) who have said: “We can confirm that Argos does not have a policy to recruit colleagues through the governments Work Experience Programme, but we do make use of it to offer work experience.  Christmas is our busiest time of year and we are pleased to provide the opportunity for work experience during this time.”

So they don’t have a policy to use forced labour, they just do it anyway, especially at Christmas when they are super busy. It would be harder to find clearer example of company using workfare rather than recruiting paid staff than Argos taking on workfare slaves to help with the Christmas rush.

Which brings us on to Tesco, who have tacitly admitted they were using workfare effectively as free labour and a two month long interview. Tesco are asking the government to remove the threat of benefit sanctions if people stop their work experience and have said they will now offer workers a wage. How fucking big of them. Furthermore, according to the Telegraph, the 1,500 people (which includes the 300 already employed) who Tesco plan to take from the Jobcentre is part of their planned recruitment strategy. In other words no new jobs are being, or have been created due to workfare. The 300 people who have already been employed under the scheme would therefore have got jobs anyway, without having to work for free first. The 1,200 who didn’t get jobs have just had their time wasted.

You can still contact all the above workfare sharks at once via twitter using this handy site: http://www.pint.org.uk/work/

Better still join in the National Day of Action on March 3rd. If there isn’t an action taking place near you, organise one!

Above pic from the ever busy Anarchist Media Project.

29 responses to “Meet the Job Snobs – Who’s out of Workfare (and who’s still in)

  1. Great post.

    Seems Argos and Tescos are the biggest targets.

    Also, to make a note that Tesco are unlikely to have offered those working for 30 hours a week (for 4 weeks) an employment contract of similar hours… I am sure many securing work got between 8 and 20 with some overtime which will not last past a couple of months maximum.

    • I posted on another site, my nephew has worked for minimum pay for Tesco for over 3 1/2 years….. His reward other than basic pay ? ……………….. He is still on a one day contract of employment.

      So just how secure are these real effin jobs at the proud company anyway?

  2. Nice one, thanks for the updated info, pressure BigBusiness to think again…and let them know we are now switched on and watching their every move, and if they do step out of line they can now be sure that i …and more imprtantly, others will to, will be outside a local store informing the public, as they are walking by, of whats happening, the public are intrested and do want to know, thats what i found after last friday,

    Keep up the goodwork 😀 x

  3. Unemployed facts as follows and these are the true facts – – –
    Just a small point, an enormous number of the current unemployed arrived at the job centre very recently as a result of the banker inspired recession. These are often people who have worked all their lives until now, because they have paid into the system for years their unemployment benefit is CONTRIBUTION based, because they are in CREDIT with the system. It is their own money that is being paid back to them, when it runs out they receive income based benefits.
    So people on contribution based benefits are NOT getting taxpayer funded ‘hand outs’ the only taxpayer funding them is themselves. I’m sick to death of ‘holier than thou’ taxpayers claiming that all the unemployed are getting something for nothing. Do some research on the benefits system if you intend to comment on it. (Reading hysterical headlines in The Sun does not amount to research.)
    If the job centre send someone who receives contribution based benefits to a workfare placement at for example Tesco, they are effectively keeping themselves in poverty whilst lining the pockets of Tesco’s share holders.

  4. The Beeb are still cranking out the government’s propaganda line:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_969800
    0/9698169.stm

    “I worked for no pay for two months and I think it’s GREAT!”

  5. ” Work or die!”. This is the command of the British Hitler,I.D.Smith,and his trusty sidekick,Reichsminister Grayling.
    Of course they’re fucking lying…that’s what Nazis do,do,do!
    Anyway,it’s all there in Clause 54 of The Welfare Reform Bill.
    When you have a Nazi regime,you need a Resistance.
    A Resistance needs to be armed. Who will arm us?

  6. What has the goverment got to say now AE4 have been useing the the poor the disabled and unemployed to commit fraud .i tell you the goverment was aware of this when it took place but it did not stop them two weeks ago awarding them a brand new contract excuse me you committed benefit fraud they want to hang u yet like exspenses scandal they get away with out being taken to court and are left to run our country no wonder they looking after emma harrinson the contract selector is either shagging the fat pig or has shares in with AE4, under freedom of information ACT would be good idea if we looked in to how many these companys mp’s do have shares in- ie -tesco and others and the work contractors- ie- AE4- jhp- and pertempts- and connection- as I think you will find that in fact sum mp’s sit on there boards-its a disgrace if u commit fraud to dwp they want to hang u they do it they keep there job and the others get new contracts its a blaint attack from all sides to the unemployed-and probally like me a lot of you lost your job due to camerons cuts so please lets see the law up-held and suspend AE4 till the end of any court case as if we had done a fraud of dwp the law would apply to us AND IT SHOULD APPLY TO AE4 AND THE LIEING CHEATING SCUM BAG MPS WHO GOT AWAY WITH ROBBING EVERY HARD WORKING PERSON THIS COUNTRY OUT MILLIONS NOT A POULATRY £67.50 AWK I SAY AGAIN MILLIONS THEY TOOK OF THE HARD WORKING TAX PAYERS THIS COUNTRY U SCUM BAGS

  7. Pingback: Work Programme in Disarray: Up the Ante! « Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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  9. when we go independenty, we’ll sell you guns!

  10. I thought you might be interested to learn that dole are taking on unemployed work experience staff too. At my local job centre they take on 2 new recruits a month to help process the massive numbers of unemployed. Takes the piss.

  11. Great post nicely done !!

  12. emma harrison Why dont you do the public a big favour and go to switzland and put your self down as the dog you realy are as profiting out people’s missery is beond belive u scum bag I hope when u dieing that a workfare client is in charge of your care and I hope its me as I make sure u die long and slow just like the way u doing to them that are unemployed got two words for you: scum bag

  13. Asda have suspended their workfare scheme until further notice

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  15. I am an ambassador for Cancer Research UK & tweeted them about their involvement with workfare. They emailed me to say they have no national agreement with workfare but do however work on an ad hoc basis. I’ve asked for greater clarity on what they mean by ad hoc arrangements, as yet I haven’t had a reply.

  16. Yes, mandatory volunteering is conscription. In a civilian workplace that is forced labour.
    I thought forced or compulsory labour is illegal under Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 in England, and section 47 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.
    Remember “forced or compulsory labour is defined as:
    “ALL WORK OR SERVICE WHICH IS EXACTED FROM ANY PERSON UNDER THE MENACE OF ANY PENALTY AND FOR WHICH THE SAID PERSON HAS NOT OFFERED HIMSELF VOLUNTARILY”
    It is therefore of paramount importance for all Jobseekers to declare themselves to be non-volunteers – beware if you are asked at any time if you would consider voluntary work.
    That old military adage is right: NEVER VOLUNTEER!

  17. the thing that does me about this workfare, if you have been in work for years like many have, they are giving you your own money back through the taxes you paid while working, and then making you work for it again it aint there money, its the persons that paid into the system. So why should you work for your own money all over again by doing unpaid work programme placements to help the goverment and tesco profits bigger

  18. Do people belive that ae4 are the only providers to pull this scam they are all at it when I was on pertemps long as I came in-in the morning and signed in and out ie at 9 and sign for when I was meant to leave they left me alone and any body asked where I was they would say gone job hunting and at now jhp they sit u in front of a computer for half a hour once a wk and this is the govements big plan for them that are on work programme,and dont even have to now that am on the work programme,have to show dwp what you doing to find work why is that thought that u had to do that to recive benefit you do when suits them it is a numbers game to hide unemployment figures as when they say how many are unemployed they never include how many are on programmes,why do they say now we are on the work programme that we aint unemployed then why do we sign on each fortnight and recive unemployment payment each fortnight .i say dont just investigate ae4 I say do the lot they all up to ripping the tax payer off including the very people we trust to run our country and they decide that they should not face court and keep their jobs to rip us off again it dont get any better than that and all the time employers getting free labour why would they take paid labour, get real will you people we are doomed down to cameron and his goons that he has got running the big con of a work programme and the other 29 govement run course’s to con the public out there tax money I said their’s david not yours not emma’s harrison’s

  19. May be of use to u people- emmasblog@a4e.co.uk

  20. All them that are on ae4 should refuse to go to their course with them till they have been cleared ha ha ha and we know that aint going to happen after all if u was burgled you would not go out with the burglar till he went to court would you so why should you continue to go to ae4 I say stay away as all time the police involved why should u take part with them u should’nt u would’nt with the burglar so dont With ae4 I say ?

  21. The company owned by David Cameron’s former ‘back-to-work’ tsar is at the centre of a new fraud probe.
    Detectives are investigating the alleged misuse of  thousands of pounds’ worth of Government vouchers meant to help the jobless back into work.
    Officers from Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit are examining claims that staff at employment firm A4e used the vouchers to boost their annual salaries instead of handing them to the unemployed clients they were  supposed to be helping.
    Staff at A4e – the firm built up by multi-millionaire Emma Harrison – are believed to have stolen the vouchers and exchanged them for goods in high street stores. The widening of the inquiry comes as a male A4e employee was interviewed under caution by Thames Valley detectives.
    The man, who attended a police station by appointment yesterday afternoon, is the second staff member to be interviewed since the fraud inquiry was revealed in last week’s Mail on Sunday. Four former employees arrested last month remain on bail until March.
    Mrs Harrison quit as chairman of A4e, which has received Government contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds, on Friday amid allegations taxpayers’ money was claimed for getting unemployed people into jobs that lasted as little as one day. She had earlier resigned from her Government role.

    The vouchers, available in £10, £20 and £50 denominations, are meant to enable jobseekers to buy smart clothes and stationery to make themselves presentable at job interviews.

    They are redeemable in stores and supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

    The exact value of the alleged fraud is unknown, but sources indicate it is in the region of ‘tens of thousands of pounds’.

    A police source said: ‘Detectives are examining the  various ways in which these vouchers were used. There are suggestions that some were given out as bonuses for getting unemployed clients into jobs and there are suspicions that some members of staff may have helped themselves to the vouchers without consent.

    ‘If this proves to be correct, there could be more arrests and further charges.’

    Emma Harrison, pictured with her husband Jim. Detectives are investigating a the alleged misuse of funds

    Until now, it was believed the inquiry related solely to A4e’s Slough headquarters after officers met managers for four hours on Friday, February 17, demanding that staff hand over documents and computer files dating back two years.

    But a source has confirmed that the four staff members arrested last month worked in the Thames Valley region. This means that they may have worked at A4e branches in  Banbury, Bracknell, Oxford, Reading or Staines.

    One of those arrested was Julie Grimes, 49. Ms Grimes left her junior role as a ‘client adviser’ at the firm’s Slough branch in November 2010  after an internal investigation revealed she was suspected of falsifying company documents, which were supposed to provide a record of clients who had been placed in full-time work.

    It is alleged that she claimed clients had found full-time work when in reality some of the positions lasted only a day. This would have allowed A4e to claim a bonus of up to £2,000 for each ‘successful’ placement, with Ms Grimes receiving £50.

    Ms Grimes was arrested on January 18 on suspicion of fraud. Two men, aged 41 and 35, and a 28-year-old woman were also arrested.

    A whistleblower who contacted The Mail on Sunday claimed senior management  ordered staff to chase targets ‘by any means possible’.

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