National Day of Action Against Workfare – Saturday 31st March

Resistance to workfare shows no sign of dying down with protests planned around the UK throughout the week and then next weekend.


Boycott Workfare will be outside Chris Grayling’s workfare conference on Monday 26th at 9am before heading off to visit other local workfare exploiters at 10.30.

On the 29th Boycott Workfare in Birmingham have a public meeting to discuss continued resistance to forced labour.

Then on Friday a picket called by Solidarity Federation will be held outside Holland & Barrett in Halifax from 11.30

Solfed are leading the charge on Saturday with action in both North and South London.  Meet at Lewisham Shopping Centre at 1pm or Kilburn Market from noon.

There will also be Solidarity Federation actions in Northampton from 11am, as well as Wakefield – meet in the Bullring at at 11.30am.

These coincide with the International Worker’s Association days of action called across the world.

Solfed, along with Liverpool Uncut have called a day of action in Liverpool, whilst  York Welfare Campaign will be meeting at 1pm for a tour of workfare exploiters around the city.

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are meeting at Kirkgate Shopping Centre from noon and plan to continue the drive to make workfare unworkable – they have a planning meeting on Monday 26th (details on facebook).

There will be a picket in Lincoln at 1pm, and a protest in Hastings from 11am.

In Brighton protesters will meet by the clock tower at 11am, target to be confirmed later, whilst they will hold a communications blockade of the same target on April 2nd.

An alliance of groups, including Sol Fed, BADACA, the IWW and Bristol Anarchist federation are joining together for a day of protest in Bristol town centre – meet by the bandstand in Castle Park at 1pm.  Action in Swindon will also take place, beginning at noon, meet at the War memorial.

Then on the 2nd April there will be a picket by posties and Boycott Workfare outside the offices of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who recently appeared to endorse workfare.

The Government’s workfare schemes are crumbling.  Keep kicking till they break.

(there is more stuff than this going on next Saturday – please post up details in the comments if you are organising anything and I’ll try keep this post updated)


20 responses to “National Day of Action Against Workfare – Saturday 31st March

  1. Glad to hear of the action continuing.Keep up the hard work everyone 🙂

  2. Oi! You missed off most of the south!




    Rounding it out to a dozen protests on the 31st… lets see if some more towns&cities can join in before then!

    • apologies, have rectified

      I looked for Brighton and Bristol as well, but facebook search was fucking about and I couldn’t find details, thanks for adding them.

  3. Pingback: National Day of Action Against Workfare – Saturday 31st March | Social Welfare News |

  4. These type of events in 21st Century society shouldn’t be needed and I blame our elected power-mongers for failing us time and time again.

    There’s really no need for such extreme rip-off exploitation that people are dying for lack of adequate heating, eating, housing and health care.

    Not long before I contracted cancer I was already long-term unemployed when my cooker was declared dangerous by a gas inspector. The UK government’s Department for Work & Pensions refused to replace my cooker saying I wasn’t a priority and should apply for a loan rather than a grant.

    I did without hot meals for many, many months whilst I appealed against that decision (because my local Office failed to send me a written letter) and it very likely cost me my diminution in health and possibly even contributed to me contracting cancer of the oesophagus (which was more of a cost to the State than a cooker because I need 5 months of chemotherapy + radiotherapy too).

    But if the Tories had been in power, I’d likely have died before I reached 50 years of age for lack of adequate health care provision because I was unemployed and unable to afford any insurance or treatment by a private health care profiteer.

    In short, Tory policies kill. They are murderers and they don’t care.

  5. Claggeron & The ConDems = Eugenecist Killers.

  6. Martin Williams

    May be useful Thu 29 Mar 201220:00BBC Radio 4 The Report investigates the government’s welfare-to-work scheme. Why are some of the organisations in charge of delivering the plans saying that the Work Programme is unworkable?

    Shortly after the £5 billion Work Programme was put into place last year, The Report highlighted concerns about whether the scheme could succeed where other plans had failed in helping the long-term unemployed find jobs, through the use of charities and for-profit companies.

    Hannah Barnes revisits the story and finds that despite the fact the scheme has been running for less than a year, some charities and voluntary organisations are already pulling out. They cite a lack of referrals from prime contractors – the handful of mostly private companies the government contracted with under the Work Programme – and the difficulty of helping the most difficult cases.

    With the bulk of payments under the scheme linked to keeping people in jobs over the long term, some charities have struggled with cash flow problems that have threatened to put them out of business.

    A National Audit Office report suggested that the government had been being overly optimistic in its estimates of the number of people who will be helped into work over the course of the Work Programme’s five-year contracts. Hannah revisits some of the unemployed people currently on the scheme who spoke to The Report to in September. Six months on, have any of them found jobs?

    With warning signs piling up, The Report asks why the coalition government is still pressing forward with the Work Programme.

  7. should we just leave people on the dole to rot and try and boost the economy in other more pro-active ways and when the economy is up and running, get them off the dole then, when we actually need people to fiull jobs?

    I dont see many jobs being created by the scheme and can think of lots of better ways to spend £5 billion to get the ecomoy breathing

  8. Martin Williams

    Most of the unemployed want to work, We want to feel as if we have done something, earned a little money to gain our self respect back. But these forced voluntary work, (and oxymoron), do no good, because why hire a person when you are getting the work for free. If people could go into a work place, maybe get some money as a wage on top of your dole, that will help people far more than the billions spent on these schemes.

    I have been told by the staff there, they are not there to get you a job, they are there to get you job ready. The only ones who benefits from these schemes are the people who run the schemes, Look at a4e, 3000+ staff look at the other providers. I am sure the unemployed could run these schemes in their own local town, help other unemployed into work, rather than these run for profit companies who only see the unemployed as being commodities. They may tout individual work plans, but all of them are the same.

    I would be only too happy to work in libraries (THAT are closing due to cuts), or charities (that are closing due to cuts), that way i can give back to society in general, now some people will say you can volunteer for charities, yes you can but how many other people are doing it, every single charity shop in my home town are full of volunteers, so theres no room left for anyone else. The other problem i see is employers, they dont seem to want to hire the unemployed, could it be all these stories about scroungers, about people living in multimillion homes with 9 kids, give a bad impression of the unemployed. If employers wont give you a chance, what hope have you,.

    We need something to tell the employers LOOK at these people. This can be done without billions wasted with these training schemes that never train you

  9. “they are not there to get you a job, they are there to get you job ready”

    yeah, we really need jobs generated, instead of pointless job schemes 😦

    • That is not the problem…

      Lets take “long route” “customers”… Jobcentre Plus places them on Mandatory Work Activity (approx £800), the adviser then agrees to place them on the New Enterprise Allowance scheme (approx £2000) to fail (i.e. they don’t get the allowance), then mandates them to the Work Programme (£400 to £600 instantly; and whatever the job outcome will be) AND (wait for it) the Government will now PAY subsidise wages!!! (something like £3000)

      This is now approx £6000 to get someone into a temporary non-sustainable job – excluding the Work Programme provider’s job outcome – which might triple this amount.

      Take the short route…. (i.e. no workfare and no NEA)… the Government is funding a subsidy once its paid providers to get people into work (double funding).

      Fraudsters TNG did this on Flexible New Deal with jobs created under the Future Jobs Fund. They approached the organisation who won FJF funding offering them to host the job interviews… got a few grand per each of the 30 people they took on… they literally hosted a 5 minute interview inviting most of their clients over 2 days of interviews. Yes, it wasn’t a real interview… as 30 positions available they didn’t have enough time for a 20-40 minute per person interview. SCAM!

  10. Pingback: Is This Chris Grayling’s Biggest Lie Yet? | the void

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  14. We’ve got a Holland and Barrett in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Anyone????

  15. Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance are picketing offending Workfare premises on Saturday 31 in Lemon Quay Truro meeting outside Weatherspoons at 10.00am

  16. glasgowchiapassolidaritygroup

    Glasgow Picket Against Workfare
    Saturday 31st March
    Meet 12 noon outside the front entrance of St Enoch’s Underground Station to move on to the Workfare target
    Phone 07799285998 if you are late

    What is workfare?
    Unemployed people being forced to work for free for up to 6 months with no guarantee of a job afterwards, many of them for major high street companies.

    Does workfare help the unemployed?
    The government’s own research found that in countries that introduced workfare it could actually lower a jobseeker’s chances of finding a job. Where previously these roles would have been filled by paid staff, employers get to take advantage of a growing pool of jobseekers they won’t have to pay.

    What if I have a job already?
    Workfare means employers can lay-off their staff and replace them with people they don’t have to pay. The point of workfare is to drive down wages and working conditions, undermining even the minimum wage which many struggle to survive on.
    Workfare isn’t about saving money – in fact these schemes are hugely expensive to the government. Workfare is a massive subsidy to private companies: providing them with free labour at public expense. The government has long been subsidising companies that pay low wages by topping-up poverty pay with benefits and tax credits. Workfare means less pay for us and more profits for them.

    The state and businesses are colluding to undermine all our conditions.
    We say: END UNPAID WORK.

    There are plans to introduce Workfare for people in the Work Related Activity Group for sickness benefit (ESA). Most people who get turned down for sickness benefit win their case on appeal with the help of an advice centre. However some are conned by the Dept. for Work and Pensions into claiming Job Seekers Allowance, while appealing, and forced onto Workfare even though they are unfit for work.

    Organised by Claimants Resisting Unfair Treatment Cuts and Harassment

    Supported by Glasgow Anarchist Federation and Glasgow Solidarity Federation

    There are now at least 18 pickets against Workfare on March 31st. More info here:

    March 31st is a national day of action against workfare called by the Solidarity Federation. This ties in with the international days of action against austerity called by the International Workers Association (IWA) – which includes a general strike in Spain on March 29th – and the M31 European Day of Action Against Capitalism.

    Facebook Event Page:!/events/326075244120535/

  17. Pingback: Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Is This Chris Grayling’s Biggest Lie Yet?

  18. Pingback: Anti-workfare coordinated actions on 31st March 2012 – reports

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