Week of Action against workfare – Charities stop exploiting the unemployed!

From Boycott Workfare

Take action 8th December onwards

Many companies and charities have pulled out of the government’s workfare schemes when met with pickets and direct action that put these exploitative schemes in the spotlight.

But charities including British Heart Foundation, Scope and Barnardos and many companies like Poundland, Argos and Superdrug still subscribe to schemes which force the unemployed to “work for their benefits”. That’s why Boycott Workfare network are calling A Week of Action against Workfare, focusing especially on the charities involved.

You are urged to join the action which starts on Saturday, December 8th!


You’re unemployed? Stand up against this exploitation: we won’t work for nothing to profit the rich! In work? Workfare attacks your wages and conditions, you could be sacked and replaced by workfare conscripts. If you care about human rights and dignity – join us. Our anti workfare actions are part of the global resistance to the austerity being imposed everywhere.

Why are we against workfare in Charities? We know first-hand what it really means.

Workfare helps hide swingeing cuts to support for charities by central government.

Real jobs that charity donors have paid to have carried out are forced onto the unemployed.

Many veteran volunteers have left British Heart Foundation in disgust as charity shops are swamped with unwilling conscripts. Workfare contradicts the voluntary ethos charities are supposed to uphold.

A claimant told us how his benefits were threatened after he left a Work Programme placement at BHF – where he was treated appallingly – and declined a placement at Barnardos. Only the intervention of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty prevented him being left penniless.

Many charities are losing skilled volunteers – as they are being forced to instead do meaningless workfare at companies and even other charities! The unemployed lose real skill-learning opportunities to be compelled to stack shelves.

Since our latest actions were announced British Heart Foundation have announced they are “moving away” from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. This is encouraging – but we need an assurance they have actually WITHDRAWN from ALL workfare schemes.

Read our blog on what’s wrong with charity workfare for more and check back as the week approaches for leaflets, and online action to take as well!

Our message is simple: If you exploit us, we will shut you down!

Please tweet, share, blog, spread the word!

Liverpool action already confirmed: http://www.facebook.com/events/535148439846906/

UK Uncut are also a day of action against tax dodging bastards Starbucks on the 8th December: http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/call-out-8-dec-refuge-from-the-cuts

2 responses to “Week of Action against workfare – Charities stop exploiting the unemployed!

  1. Could nor agree more! As someone starting thier own business, workfare is massively counter-productive. If I am ever in the position to employ someone in the future, I’ll never take on someone under workfare.

    By paying someone, you admit you see value in their efforts, even at the min wage level. By NOT paying someone, a business is doing the exact opposite. I expect to hear of sabotage, go slows, extended breaks, willfull damages, etc, etc.

  2. What the BHF say and what they actually do are two seperate things – they will still want a finger in the workfare pie, but they just dont want all the protests outside their shops, although I dont think my local branch of the BHF Furniture and Electricals in Stoke on Trent has had a boycott organised yet. Never very many customers in there when I go past on the bus. BHF seems to think they can just walk all over staff and take them for granted. I dont feel that way. They should take on “willing” volunteers and not treat them rudely and insensitively. people sent under duress and unwillingly by the Jobcentre or the Work Programme are not “volunteers”, they are slaves. This MUST stop

    I feel even stronger about forced “work experience” with big profit making companies like Argos, Tesco and Asda, and especially at this time of year when they will be taking on free forced labour for the Xmas rush.
    Sorry, but I would rather shop in Aldi who don’t exploit their staff and actually pay them a decent wage – good on Aldi, and for most things they are just as cheap as Asda – who exploit young people by the boatload.

    Workfare MUST STOP – it is SLAVERY.
    Iain Duncan Smith must be stopped – it is an inhumane monster.
    Lord Faud must also be stopped – it is a ruthless cold blooded reptile.

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