The Workfare Army

boycott-workfare-courtAttention on social media is turning to the Salvation Army after public pressure finally persuaded Sue Ryder to pull out of mandatory workfare yesterday.

It remains to be seen exactly what Sue Ryder’s ‘phased withdrawal’ from mandatory schemes only will look like in practice.  As the Salvation Army have shown, many charities have been less than honest about their involvement with forced and unpaid work.

When the workfare row first blew up, the Salvation Army were quick to claim that they were not involved with workfare.  This soon unravelled as letters appeared on the internet which proved people were being forced to work in Salvation Army charity shops for four week periods without pay.

The charity changed their statement, disappearing their original claims from the internet and claiming that they now only use workfare at local level.  Which means they are involved in workfare and they lied and will go to hell.  Which is a shame because they took the whole God thing very seriously.

In truth the Salvation Army are very much involved in workfare.  As well as forcing people to work for free in their charity shops they have a long history of involvement as contractors on various government workfare schemes.  As they boast on their own website:

“At a local level we work with independent welfare to work providers, offering short-term work experience placements that we see as invaluable to gain vital skills, experience and to build confidence.

“Clients receive professional retail work experience through a range of tasks including customer service, stock movement and tagging.”

Whilst these placements may not be officially forced claimants who refuse to attend could simply be sent on one of the mandatory workfare schemes instead.  With almost half a million benefit sanctions handed out each year for ‘non-compliance’ then exactly what is and isn’t officially ‘voluntary’ at the Jobcentre has become meaningless.

Salvation Army have responded to criticisms by banning people from their facebook page and deleting comments, risking the row going international as the charity have lots of facebook pages.

The Salvation Army claim to help the poor.  They know themselves only too well the suffering that being stripped of benefits, and facing possible homelessness can bring to people’s lives.  Yet they are quite happy to exploits a benefits regime that makes the poor destitute if it helps keep down their wage bill.  On a local level only of course.

Tell them what you think on twitter: @salvationarmyuk

Join the National Week of Action Against Workfare beginning on March 18th:

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


91 responses to “The Workfare Army

  1. Pingback: The Workfare Army | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's |


    Don’t start me talking
    I could talk all night
    My mind goes sleepwalking
    While I’m putting the world to right
    Called careers information
    Have you got yourself an occupation

    Workfare army is here to stay
    Workfare army are on their way
    And I would rather be anywhere else
    But here today

  3. There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
    —Proverbs 6:16–19



  5. I believe in God, and I believe God will punish these evil-doers!

  6. interns are also being exploited

  7. Just left a critical comment on their facebook, waiting to see how long it stays there.

  8. Looks like they’ve deleted it already.

  9. “Every person has worth, irrespective of what they can offer society and it is our desire to help all who are willing to work”.

    I take issue with the word “help” here. Should someone doing voluntary work in a field that interests them instead be forced to work for free for the Plantation Army? I think their desire is to help themselves to taxpayers money irrespective of the desires of those forced to labour for them.

  10. I emailed the Sally Army almost two weeks ago to complain about their continued involvement in Workfare. Despite receiving initial automated messages saying that someone would ‘get back to me’, they’ve yet to reply. I’m not holding my breath…

  11. Pingback: Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » More success as Sue Ryder announces withdrawal from workfare!

  12. Pingback: The Workfare Army | SteveB's Politics & Economy Scoops |

  13. That they allowed a director who sat on the Salvation Army Trading company to earn millions for his own private companies benefit out the clothes handed in for free to Salvation Army shops indicates the people who are running the show are not Christians motivated by love but self-serving individuals who betray the ordinary Salvation Army member with their greed.

  14. Universal Jobmatch: Your rights

    Correct as of 28.02.13

    (1) It is not mandatory to register*

    (2) You can delete your account**
    (Also known as “revoke your consent“)

    (3) You can amend your Jobseeker’s Agreement to remove it

    (4) You can remove DWP/Jobcentre access to your account if given
    (Also known as “revoke your consent“)

    (5) You do not have to apply for any jobs only on it

    (6) You can search for jobs without logging into any account

    (7) Jobcentre instructed not to issue sanctions relating to it

    (8) You can block all web tracking cookies and it will not function***

    (9) Work Programme providers cannot make it mandatory to register

    • UniversalPoverty

      It says the infomation is correct as of 28/01/2013 not 28/02/2013 this is a month old infomation can you please point me to where it says correct as of 28/02/2013 please Obi wan

  15. Salvation Army Appeal

    “Just £20 a month will help us to provide a bowl of cold soup and a stale roll for “Johnny” who has been made homeless and hungry due to receiving a three year benefit sanction inflicted by a DWP “decision maker” for “failing to attend” his Mandatory Work Activity placement in one of our sweatshops. We done all we could to “help and support” “Johnny” but rules are rules. Please give generously! Thank you!”

  16. Sally Army should do a Moses & lead their people out of slavery! End immoral #workfare

  17. Took less than about 30 seconds for me to get blocked from their Fb page!!!!! Still, managed to paste the link to this blog entry several times and so far it hasn’t been removed?!?! (10 mins ago…)

  18. I see they are seeking to recruit a couple of Work Programme Job Life Coaches. There are seeking quite a few Employment Plus Sessional Tutors.

    “The course modules are aimed at JSA Customers (six-12 month unemployed) with moderate to substantial support needs, including participants with more substantial support needs such as Carers, NDLP (New Deal for Lone parents) and NDP (Partners of JSA claimants).”

    “The ability to work within the Christian ethos of The Salvation Army”

  19. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

  20. The multiplying villainies of nature
    Do swarm upon them…
    Disdaining Fortune, with his brandish’d steel,
    Which smoked with bloody execution… 🙂

  21. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…… We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

  22. Well, my pasted links on their Fb page to this blog have now all mysteriously disappeared along with their response to my comment about them using workfare : The Salvation Army United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland wrote: “We are not part of ‘workfare’ as that does not exist. We help many people back into employment. Please see for examples of people we have really helped.”

    They’re leaving up (for now) quite a lot of personal comments but really don’t seem to like this blog entry. Funny that.

  23. I’ve found a verse that accurately describes Workfare Britain where “charities” like the Salvation Army and Sue Ryder boast about using the sick and disabled as slave labour and are commissioned by the government to do so:

    “Babylon the great is fallen and is become the habitation of devils, and the haunt of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

  24. Universal Jobmatch made mandatory, from Monday 4th March 2013?

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Following blog post via @Unity_MoT and PCS Tweet:

    @refuted @unity_mot Our information is that DWP are changing policy so using UJ can be made mandatory from next Monday (4 March) >>>— PCS Union (@pcs_union) February 26, 2013

    Looks like DWP scheduled maintenance is to make changes to make it mandatory from Monday March 4th 2013, most probably by Jobcentre Advisers issuing a Jobseeker’s Direction.

    • Does this mean that we will have to sign up to this great big steaming pile of shite then?

    • UniversalPoverty

      By mandatory do you mean they will force you to make an account?.

      But surely they cant force you to use it or record your jobsearch on there?.

      You could just create an account access it everyday, record your job search on a peice of paper and apply for any vacancies on other sites or from other sources not UJ.
      My guess is they will try and put it in your jobseekers agreement that you can only apply for vacancies through UJ AND UJ ONLY what do you think?.

      • I think we should keep an eye on:
        They will publish any new info on or shortly after 4th March.

  25. Something of a discussion has occurred on the Salvation Army United Kingdom FB page this evening.
    Possibly to resume tomorrow but they have posted a statement and it can be posted on. At this point anyway.

  26. something survived...

    they also have a less than great policy on gays, and single mums

    Getting benefit and have a Facebook account? Oh dear
    This is the major welfare reform of the coalition in which benefit claims are assessed online and not in a paper-based form as now.
    Universal credit risks exposing people to russian gangsters

  28. Eddy Arram (Tory Croydon) is a fascist tory cunt, discuss:

    (Off topic not unrelated – atos)

  29. To put the Salvation Army’s claims re helping people into perspective, here are their figures for one of their Employment Plus centres in Bedworth.

    “Many of the people who use the services are referred by Jobcentre Plus, with close to 300 people referred in the past eight months. Through the employment services, the centre has successfully put a trainee into paid employment every month for the past two years.”

    My maths isn’t great – have I got this right? On average, in each month during the eight-month period quoted, only one out of 37 jobseekers was placed in paid employment?

    From what it says here – it seems as though the SA aren’t just accepting workfare ‘clients’ placed with them by other agencies – they’ve also been getting money from the European Social Fund and the local council for acting as prime contractors.

    Then further down the page there’s this:
    “Our First Soldier as a result of Employment Plus was enrolled by Lieut. Colonel Roland Sewaell (the Former Head of the S.A.’s Employment Plus Programme.”

    Looks like it’s doubling up as a recruitment drive as well. No wonder they don’t want to change anything.

  30. Most charities are in two parts . The charity caring side and the trading part. Often they look in conflict with each other. I found a job position with shelter trading. From the language used ‘profits’ ‘targets’ ‘performance’ you would think it was a grasping multinational company. But its the trading part of shelter the homeless charity.

  31. Corporation tax lawyers are often behind the trading part of charitities

    The men behind. The money Link I kept trying to post only to find it kept disappearing

  32. How many times do i keep trying to keep trying to post a link. for it to keep disappearing ?

  33. Why is the UJM site going offline on march 3rd

    • Bobchewie, this is why:

      Universal Jobmatch made mandatory, from Monday 4th March 2013?
      Posted on February 26, 2013 by Following blog post via @Unity_MoT and PCS Tweet:

      @refuted @unity_mot Our information is that DWP are changing policy so using UJ can be made mandatory from next Monday (4 March) >>>— PCS Union (@pcs_union) February 26, 2013

      Looks like DWP scheduled maintenance is to make changes to make it mandatory from Monday March 4th 2013, most probably by Jobcentre Advisers issuing a Jobseeker’s Direction.

      • @obi WAN kenobi .i. tried out ujm on my handset .blimey what a joke..can you be monitored using phone ? They will be putting in more spyware into it I bet. Even the torygraph I think.said it was there to spy on us all.

  34. Corporation tax solicitors – the men behind the money
    Corporation Tax Solicitor
    Many companies will often seek the advice of solicitors who specialise in corporation tax laws in order to ensure that all of their taxes are properly calculated in accordance with all relevant UK rules and regulations. Without the proper advice from solicitors who specialise in this field, your business could be subject to a lengthy court process and a substantial financial penalty. 
    UK corporation tax laws were first introduced in 1965 by the government Finance Act, these laws have been strictly enforced since that time and have been subject to various updates and changes in legislation until the present day. Although solicitors are frequently employed in order to provide advice to business in this area, the proper fulfilment of corporation tax is usually left up to each individual business to address, this responsibility is known as ‘Corporation Tax Self Assessment’.
    This tax law is designed to levy a percentage of profits from certain organisations in the UK including public limited companies and charities etc. As well as this tax however, there are frequently several other charges and fees which have to be met which can make the process somewhat confusing to inexperienced business owners.  In many instances, companies will seek the advice of solicitors who specialise in this field in order to handle all relevant tax matters for them. This process is known as appointing an agent who will be able to keep owners up to date with all the relevant tax laws and legislation.
    Although the cost of hiring solicitors to deal with this process may seem unnecessary, the relevant legal advice can often be essential as you may be able to save a great deal of time and unnecessary effort when completing your corporation tax. Tax solicitors will be able to provide on any possible grounds which may make you exempt from paying substantial corporation tax fees. Profits made in the following areas are free from corporation tax. For example:
    Agricultural profits which are put towards farming exhibitions In the event that companies do decide employ solicitors to act as agents on their behalf, solicitors will able to assist with all aspects of this process. An agent will fulfil all necessary procedures and will fill out all tax forms in accordance with corporation tax laws. It is highly recommended to consult solicitors for this process despite the extra cost, and if so it is also necessary to inform HMRC that you have opted to use an agent.

  35. Corporate Ethos driving charities

    In BBC article

  36. 5. The Charities Act sets out the following descriptions of purposes:

    a. the prevention or relief of poverty;

    b. the advancement of education;

    c. the advancement of religion;

    d. the advancement of health or the saving of lives;

    e. the advancement of citizenship or community development;

    f. the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;

    g. the advancement of amateur sport;

    h. the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;

    i. the advancement of environmental protection or improvement;

    j. the relief of those in need, by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantages;

    k. the advancement of animal welfare;

    l. the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown or of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services;

    m. other purposes recognised as charitable under the existing law and any new purposes which are similar to another prescribed purpose.

  37. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » More success as Sue Ryder announces withdrawal from workfare!

  38. The salvation army help people? Please excuse me while i laugh my fucking nuts off into oblivion.
    Everything they claim they do or offer is a lie. I asked about training? No training. I asked if they are trained in mental health? No training. I asked if they can refer me to specialists (actually that was their claim)? They cannot. They have no funds (according to them, as bid candy locally), no resources and only a small cold church hall and some laptops and barely room to swing a cat. They don’t know anything about anything and resort to demands and threats.

    Fuck them.

  39. Ghost Whistler

    If their Work Programme Job Life Coaches have only demands and threats to offer they are not up to much. It is the likes of the Salvation Army that the Government could use to break the PCS Union. From what amw has posted they do not seem to be very successful at getting people into work.

  40. 26/02/13 – Hoban – committed to further improvements to the Work Capability Assessment.

  41. @obi WAN kenobi you said you heard that UJM would be mandatory from march 4th. Do you think that explains why it is going offline on march 3rd for a few hours in order to either fix things or add more snooping traps ?

    • The DWP’s official line on this is:

      The site will be down for maintenance, I hope thats all it is because I really can’t see how they can legally make Universal Jobmatch mandatory.

      • @obi WAN kenobi maintenance is a bit of a catch all statement really. Nevertheless it suggests if taken literally that there is indeed a lot wrong with it. It may not serve as an admission its faulty but you don’t do maintenance unless there is something not right. If it ain’t broke dont fix it etc etc

    • You saying that a whole new Mandatory Monster will rear its ugly head on March 4th, Bob??

  42. Universal Jobmatch comes under JSA(Employment Skills and Enterprise Scheme)Regulations 2011 – Which was ruled unlawful by the High Courts of Justice.

  43. Are you sure that Age UK is not involved at a local level. My emails to them on the subject get no reply.

  44. I mentioned in another thread sometime ago about visiting China in the early 1990’s and how workers were living in animal wire cages stacked against the factory wall. I thought things had to be much better now but in fact the wired cage homes have spread (“tens of thousands”) into one of the richest countries of the world – Hong Kong.

    This is the trajectory of the Work Programme – the exploitation of people who have no real voice in government and are here only to be used and abused by businesses including the self-serving and highly paid executives of what are called “charitities”.

  45. The Salvation Army, Britain’s very own Magdalene laundries.

    Religion and slavery, what a combo.

    • “Religion and slavery, what a combo”.
      It’s a combo that existed right up until the modern era when all mainstream Christian groups rejected it, but see how easy it begins to slips in again under cloak of “charity”.

  46. @obi WAN kenobi . Did my last post to you get through? I was asking if UJM could monitor phone handsets. Especially if they’ve added such stuff like spyware. I wouldn’t put it past them to do it.
    Ok did you.see my posts on the litchfield atos scrutineer. On johnnys latest blog? It threw up some stuff I came across before that I had posted on before on the void. Damn. Things are getting weirder coincidence wise by the minute with me.

  47. One option after UJM mandation is that we all opt solely to use the jobcentre Internet Access Devices (IADs)
    These IAD’s have to be booked in advance and with a recommend 30 minute session, (that’s a max of 16 seasons on a single IAD per day) also with some less I.T savvy claimants requiring an hour booking that amounts to even less

    It would make it simply impractical for the JCP even with 4 IAD’s if the jobcentre has more than 320 claimants (and that only accounts for only 1 use weekly)

    • @funkfish and obi wan kenobi..can UJM monitor phone handsets? ive looked at UJM on phone and yeah its rubbish,,what a joke…

      • I don’t know if they can monitor phones for UJM accounts, but Advanced Mobile Phones are basically mini computers – so I would go ask a computer service engineer – a really good one.

        • @obi wan kenobi well i just wondered i dont fancy signing into this stinking pile of snooping shit anyway..

          • I’m not signing up to it, not even visited the UJM website.

            • @obi wan kenobi i only looked at it out of curiosity..what i saw did not fill me with any hope it was a mess..
              oh sorry i am being a pain again can you check my posts on the atos scrutineer ‘doctor’ thing on JV new blog..its got me thinking actually it might suggest something

    • These IADs are already installed in jobcentres; most I have seen is 4 devices!

      • Most I’ve seen is none – we have to kick the jobpoints at our local JCP sometimes to get them going.

      • That because BT have advised that the optimum number of devices per router is 4

        http://intralink/working-in- dwp/security/operational-security/index.asp
        BTW those dwp type intralinks only seem to work during office hours for me

        “While customers in dedicated Internet suites are unlikely to be overlooked by others, customer positions in open plan areas should be sited to minimise the risk of other customers being able to see information on the customer’s screen. For this reason, positions ought to be planned away from major customer circulation routes, e.g., in corners, or with the position backing on to the wall so that the customer faces out into the office, or shielded by banners

        However, none of this takes away from the need to ensure that positions can be supervised by staff, nor that CCTV sightlines should be clear (and adjusted, if necessary)”

        So that’s CCTV spying on top of online spying

  48. John

    You are right about religion and slavery going hand in hand. Recently a website went live detailing the compensation payments made to slave owners when the practice was abolished. Many of those who received compensation were clergy. They got to hold on to the slaves for years after too. The slaves became “apprentices”.

    The Church of England was “at the heart of it”.

    • @jeff we should call the church, no call the police,,call the church police…

    • Jeff, thanks for the most interesting link. All the more sensitive religions and politicians who have historical links to slavery should be to forced labour issues. I was looking up something today and came across a reference to how Workfare was being used as a form of demonization of black Americans. See p. The Sociology of Norbert Elias p. 110 on google books. Westminster is up to the same old demonization tricks (“Skivers/strivers”) in this country.

  49. Bobchewie

    Look on the bright side – The Salvation Army has not yet been awarded a contract to install web-cams in claimants’ heads so that claimants can demonstrate 35 hours a week of jobsearch!

    • @jeff did the nazis have a sally army?? ..oh jeff btw can you check my posts on the litchfield atos scrutineer latest void blog? and tell me what you think?

      • The Christian SA we have in this country was also present in Nazi Germany. Coincidentally the Nazi’s paramilitary group Sturmabteilung, the “brownshirts”, were also called the SA. The Salvation Army in Nazi Germany was probably no better or worse than any other religious group in terms of how they reacted to Nazi policies. You will sometimes hear about Jehovah Witness being executed for their faith by the Nazi’s but that had more to do with their prohibition of military service etc. They also were steeped in anti-Semitism during the Nazi era.

    • @jeff they dont need cameras in their head we carry them around in our phones and can remotekly be switched on.

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