Join the Week of Action And Help Smash Workfare

boycott-workfare-weekThe Week of Action Against Workfare begins on March 18th.  Already several events are planned in Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and London.

Almost everyday new charities and companies pull out of forced labour.  Workfare is wobbling as the public says no to unpaid work.  Join the week of action and help bring an end to workfare for good!

Actions can be large or small, read a successful example of a two person action against workfare

Organise now and spread the word – contact Boycott Workfare to be added to the list of actions:

Events so far – keep an eye on Boycott Workfare for all the latest info or join the facebook page:

Follow @boycottworkfare on twitter for the latest news and announcements

Brighton – Wednesday 20 March, Fighting the Assault on Welfare, Public meeting, Friends Meeting House 7.30pm,

Brighton – Friday 22 March , Universal Jobmatch demo/leafleting, Brighton Jobcentre Edward Street 11am

Brighton – Saturday 23 March – Anti-workfare picket of Poundland meet Clock Tower 12 noon

Bristol – Sat 23rd March – End workfare in Bristol

Edinburgh – Sat 23rd March, meet 12 noon, Kirkgate shopping centre, foot of Leith Walk, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6AD. Organised by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. Action against companies and charities using workfare.

Edinburgh – also… Mass leafleting of A4e, 11am – 2pm Wed 20 March, A4e, 34 Earl Grey Street Edinburgh EH3 9BN

Glasgow – Sat 23rd March, 11am, Argyle St.

Leeds – Sat 23rd March, 12.30pm, outside Leeds Art Gallery

London – Sat 16th March – ‘Blitz Sleuth’ of London high streets to find out where workfare is still being used. See the Facebook event.

London – Sat 23rd March – Workfare action with Sol Fed. Details tba.

Please share, blog, tweet and spread the word!

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


87 responses to “Join the Week of Action And Help Smash Workfare

  1. BeatenInToSubmission

    Where i live in scunthorpe one of the poverty pimps has struck a deal with a jewlers and they make a guy stand all day in the middle of the town centre with a giant placard on a stick advertiseing i feel very sorry for this man.

    • alec middleton

      Aah… The dignity of work, eh? Beats “walking the streets” I suppose. Could a friend stand near him with a sign? Something like ,’XX jewelers scrounge taxpayer money to pay this man less than minimum wage’.

    • something survived...

      Last week I saw a similar one. A young man and an old man are forced to stand outside for 10 hours (7am-7pm) on some roadworks. There are no breaks and no toilets. Also no food. No gloves. Yesterday it reached minus 6 and in the night it snowed. There are hardly any buses to get you there or back. The old man looks too old but is on the same scheme of forced work. No training was given to either. It is incredibly boring. Each has to hold a heavy metal lollipop sign, and turn it ‘STOP’ and ‘GO’, to stop traffic while standing in the middle of the road. Where you can be run over if people won’t stop. Almost as soon as you get home you have to go straight back out to catch the bus back to work.

      I remember the term now: it’s called ‘Job Creation’. The victims apparently get minimum wage (the old man is over 25 so should get the full rate).But some people on the scheme are on unpaid workfare.

  2. Sometimes I can hardly make me way up the High Street for sandwich boards, keep knocking me blooming shopping bags, seems to more and more of them every blooming day. Didn’t realise it was the blooming poverty pimps sending ’em out. Blooming ridiculous!

  3. name em and shame them tell us all who they are, we can vote with our cash.

    • BeatenIntoSubmission

      The name of the company is H and T Pawnbrokers on scunthorpe Highstreet, intersport used to be at it as well but thats closed down now and the poverty pimps for the scunthorpe area are in training i belive.

  4. Live free or die!

    Print up some warning stickers, so that shoppers know to go elsewhere. They only care for profits, so that is what you go after.

  5. Pingback: Join the Week of Action And Help Smash Workfare | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's |

  6. off topic, but i was told that it is madatory as of march 1st, to set up an account on that dreaded universal whatever web site, is that true? it was a verbal instruction, should i demand a official piece of paper. whats the situation? i think we may all need an information top up on the subject. cheers.

    • Mr Ghost. The Jury is out at the moment on this one. There are people trying to get to the bottom of things. I would demand an official piece of paper, as you yourself suggest. Secondary to this I do not think it is mandatory to have to open Goverrnment Gateway account. I think that you need a Government Gateway account to open a UJ account. It therefore follows that if you cannot be mandated to open a Government Gateway account, how can you open a UJ account? If anybody knows any different please correct me. I think the DWP are up to their tricks as usual.

    • Nearly forgot. Do not tick the box giving them access to your UJ account.

    • mr,ghost. They cannot mandate you to open a UJ account on your own computer because of “cookie” law. At the moment they(JCP) think that they can mandate you to use the I.A.D’s (Internet Access Device) in the Jobcentre. Don’t use your own computer, use theirs and Do Not tick the box giving them access to your account.

      • Went to one of the advisor ‘interviews’ (wish they would stop calling them interviews) and was told in no uncertain terms that ticking the box to give them access to my account was now mandatory! I haven’t done so yet, as I’m sure this is still against EU Data Protection laws to force someone to waive their privacy so easily. Is this still true? I need to have a legal letter to challenge them.

        • Chris. Sorry I have been a tad slow at replying. I hope that you check back and read this. The answer to you question is in the link that ECAP has very kindly posted above. The answer is paragraph 53. They definately need your consent to view your account. DO NOT tick the box.

        • Chris. You need to check “” out. You can find the information you seek there. You need to read and search the site thoroughly. The “Home” page is a good place to start.

    • I started out to my Working Links Induction bright and early 6.30 am and arrived in plenty of time to be early for my induction appointment. I finally entered the building 9.15, 15 minutes early. At least it was warm in there – sort of.

      9 30 passed and the minutes dribbled on. They told me they start half an hour late because they expect people to be late. at 10 am we were ushered into their hospitality room, we all put our coats and hats back on.

      A twenty minute talk about nothing at all ensued. There was a middle aged man suffering severe pain in his legs, and a younger man too terrified to even speak, but Iain Duncan Smith said they had to be there to be helped out by this firm. Amen.

      I signed away my Data Protection rights, gleefully whinging.

      Then, it was back out to sign even more paperwork, followed by a cheery discharge back into the cold air with a Working Links bus ticket and an appointment in two weeks time, with a promise that I would find a link to the Working Links slave portal on my email. I still don’t have it. It is now a job for experts in their IT department.

      On Wednesday I handed in my signing form and in return was handed a letter inviting me to attend a mandatory appointment with Working Links in two weeks at the Jobcentre.

      At the next Monday appointment I discovered the delights of extra paperwork. Not only do I have to record my job search on Universal Jobmatch and copy it all onto my signing slip, I have to have these scanned into the system at Working Links just in case the Jobcentre want to see them. Not only this, but Working Links want me to fill out their job search logs as well.

      Anyway, I await my next appointment at this little outfit on …

      I emailed the consultant and explained that it took me 8 hours to register for Universal Jobmatch, going through the A to Z, alpha and omega white cider of web based email services including Boing and Oink to find one that would not trash out the government gateway verification email. I suggested he try my address at GMX to forward my link to the slave portal, as that did not delete the govt email. Story already told.

      Arrived at the Jobcentre at 10 40 … to hand in my paperwork, but the kind lady told me that because I had an appointment with Working Links 11.15, then I had to come back then. Technically I’d be late in signing, but I wouldn’t really be late.

      I wandered round Lidl because it started to rain and joined the queue to get into the Jobcentre at 11 05. A woman of about my age stormed out in frustration at the length of time she would have to wait to get access to a Jobcentre Internet Access device to fulfill her obligations to IDS and sign up, and look for jobs on Universal Jobmatch. I suggested that as IDS wishes to bring us morons into the 21st Century then he should buy all job seekers new laptops with his wife’s money to enable us to fulfill our legal obligations to spend 35 hours weekly on the shite site.

      A woman in her late fifties was very angry and distressed because she had made an 11 o clock appointment to use a computer and they were late. G4S security guards looked about to pounce.

      They made her sit down. I sat next to her to wait for Working Links. She explained she had to drive to … to meet her son at 12.30. I suggested that she go off, see her son, and make another appointment to use a Jobcentre computer…

      (Looks like it is going to be dog eat dog at the Jobcentre now…)

      Surprise, surprise Working Links were only 10 minutes late. A thin man aged about 20 materialised from out back with his Working Links ID swinging from his neck calling out a list of surnames and ushered me and about 6 men into the back where we were semi locked in.

      Computers sat a row in a row, the Universal Jobmatch registration page glaring menacingly.

      I said I had already registered as did one other. The rest were forced to register. A lady sat and had a little chat with me. When I told her that Nick Prynne had not attached vacancies to my account she informed me I could not possibly be registered. I simply quoted …………., my government gateway no I used to register. She said I had a good memory (better than my consultant’s despite the fact I’m semi demented) and asked me what it had been like traveling on the bus. ‘Cold’ was my reply. She made small talk and allowed me to leave.

      This morning I emailed my consultant again, attaching a screen shot of my UJM account and informing him that his latest attempt to give me access to the slave portal had failed.

      His reply:

      I will attempt to get hold of our I.T department to see if they can sort it, I have tried resetting it locally but it doesn’t seem to be working,
      I’m glad to hear that you’ve managed to register for Universal Job Match, hopefully you should be able to find more suitable vacancies for yourself with it.

      Great, I thought, I can apply to be a fork lift, 750 ton HGV lorry driver, pipe fitter’s mate, !st & 2nd Carpenter etc. He does not even remember me discussing this site recommending me to so many unsuitable jobs a few days ago. Brain like a sieve. Demented.

      There was a second email. This concerned a job he thought I might like apply for. I replied to him attaching a screen shot of of the application I made for this very job on the IDS site. Amen.’ Fantastic,’ was his response.


  7. Iain Duncan Smith

    But she was paid for it, the taxpayer was paying her for Gawd’s sake, so would you rather that the taxpayer allows her to sit on her skinny arse… unemployment benefit?

  8. IDS the Cunt on LBC

    IBS the Cunt on LBS

    * hat-tip to Ghostwhistler 🙂

  9. Just look at what the arsehole Voice of WP (aka Voice of 3.5%, Voice of 96.5% failure rate, Voice of pisspoor performance, etc, etc,) on the pro W2W Indus Delta site has to say about Cait Reilly:

    “Where is she working now?

    Yep, in a retail store !! The irony is probably lost on most of her hysterical “supporters”.

    She would rather work for nothing in a museum that had nothing to do with her degree, than work In retail and at least let her see something of the real world.

    The principal was proven to be lawful, the wording requires reviewing.

    Don’t want to work for your benefit when you are fit and able to do so? Don’t claim the benefit – simple.”

    This idiot conveniently forgets that Ms Reilly said she was not adverse to working in Poundland and already had retail experience! And this fool is a W2W adviser??? Good god! No wonder this sector is the way it is!

  10. “There is nothing necessarily dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading…To sweep a slushy crossing for eight hours on a day when the east wind is blowing is a disgusting occupation. To sweep it with mental, moral, or physical dignity seems to me to be impossible. To sweep it with joy would be appalling. Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt.”

    – Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891)

  11. Here is a suggestion for anyone who’s been bullied into opening a Universal Jobmatch account : email yourself copies of the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act every day. Then at least the snooping DWP employees will know exactly what laws they’re breaking.

  12. I have terminal lung cancer. I’ll be lucky to be dead within a month, and I shuolld get ny full dla payed about a month after that, then they’ll claim it back coz I’ll be dead.
    Happy days,eh?

  13. Bishops are starting to speak out against the morality of welfare reform just before it’s about to be implemented, where were they when the bills were being passed? – still better late than never.

    • Maybe they should close down the foodbanks operating in the name of christianity that are subverting monetary subsistence and the welfare system.

      • something survived...

        While they’re at it they could cut all that oxygen we’re stealing. ‘Pay as you breathe’.

  14. bishops are starting to speak about about the morality of welfare reform now that it is about to be implemented, where were they when the bills were passed? – still better late than never.

  15. Stan there are soon to be 2 new men in charge once they elect a new pope.

  16. Oscar wilde

    Who should sweep the dirt then, or are we to live in squalor?

  17. Live Work & Pensions Questions

    Today: Monday 11/03/2013 @ 14:30-15:30

    Live coverage in the House of Commons to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and his ministerial team,

    * BBC Parliament is on Freeview Channel 81 *

    • 14:30!: Wonder if shirker Hoban will be able to make it our of his bed on time… 🙂

    • Seems like IBS has confirmed that “work programme” sanctions imposed under the quashed regulations are null and void 🙂 and all Byrne can do is whine about the cost to the exchequer lol

      • £100 million inflicted by “work programme” sanctions!

      • Byrne – what a knobhead, asking IBS why his sanctioning legislation wasn’t “bullet-proof” and offering support to legislate bullet-proof legislation and refunds to jobseekers will “cost twice as much as the West Coast Mainline fiasco”, what is Byrne all about?

        • And who was that Labour knobhead trying to make out that CONVICTED criminals were exempt from the bedroom tax, IBS had to remind these Labour clowns again that is only applies to prisoners on REMAND, “innocent until proven guilty” as is should be.

      • IBS having to remind those Labour clowns that it was LABOUR who introduced the clampdown on the number of rooms available for rent in the private sector to those on housing benefit… Byrne and Co also need reminded about introducing the Work Capability Assessment as well as the Work for Your Benefits Scheme.

  18. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Live Work and Pensions Questions – Starting now – BBC Parliament Channel.

  19. The BBC were at it again today trying to justify tory cuts to welfare benefits with ,”the welfare state cost £8 billion per year in 1945 it is now £200 billion which includes pensions. I could only find house price differentials since 1960-2010 in the guardian = 1960 average house price £2,507 – 50 years on £162,085 house prices in 2010. It probably cost less than £500 per house in 1945,around the time of the birth of the welfare state. So if they want to look at comparisons look at home much home owners and renters have made in profits over the years.

  20. guy fawkes | March 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply

    The BBC were at it again today trying to justify tory cuts to welfare benefits with ,”the welfare state cost £8 billion per year in 1945 it is now £200 billion which includes pensions. I could only find house price differentials since 1960-2010 in the guardian = 1960 average house price £2,507 – 50 years on £162,085 house prices in 2010. It probably cost less than £500 per house in 1945,around the time of the birth of the welfare state. So if they want to look at comparisons look at home much home owners and renters have made in profits over the years.

  21. My post regarding the BBC manipulating facts and figures has been moved from the end to further up the comments chain.

  22. Telly viewer

    Your comments regarding the labour party are so true, they are total hypocrites. The fabian society is a joke, they are all trying to ingratiate themselves with the monied class by introducing policies that hit the working class when they were on the ropes regarding HAVING TO RENT IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR BECAUSE OF SOLD OF SOCIAL HOUSING.

    • guy – as someone has already suggested, with the benefit of hindsight, perhaps any actual Labour Party as used to be understood (or hopes of something similar) did die with John Smith and it’s been steadily downhill since. TB didn’t ever look or sound genuine (I’d been out of the country for a few years and he had started to appear in the news etc. when I came back – the first thing a member of my family said to me about him was along the lines of “I don’t think we should trust him, do you?”). It was the Cheshire-cat grin/hand gestures and not least of all what he said, & the look in his eyes (I hope this isn’t defamatory) to my family.


  24. The comments on this site are a standing joke. The same three or four contributing over and over again. Do you really think anybody in power cares?

  25. rainbowwarriorlizzie

    Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL and commented:
    In Solidarity!!

  26. Pingback: Join the Week of Action And Help Smash Workfare | Human Rights & Political Journal |


    ‘DINING rooms, praised by the government as crucial to family cohesion, may become subject to David Cameron’s controversial “bedroom tax”. Councils will be allowed to classify dining rooms as bedrooms for the purposes of the new tax, which comes into force next month.’

    Excellent article by Joe Halewood, everyone affected by the bedroom tax needs to read this,

    If every tenant appeals the bedroom tax will go – Direct action is needed

    • First they came for the bedrooms,
      and I did not speak out
      because I didn’t have a ‘spare’ bedroom.

      Then they came for the dining rooms
      and I didn’t speak out
      (because I don’t have one of those either).

      (They didn’t think to look
      for unused sleeping platforms)
      give them time.

      Then they came for the smallest room
      and there was no room left

  29. Off topic:
    According to Liam Byrne the total of unlawful sanctions amount to around £100million! This from parliament today:
    “Mr Byrne:
    I do not think that it is a technical challenge when three Court of Appeal judges unanimously quash the 2011 regulations because they are not in line with the law. That mistake puts in jeopardy about £100 million of sanctions that have been issued. I did not think that the Work programme could get any worse, but it has. We will support wise and sensible legislation that will fix the problem, but will the Secretary of State take personal responsibility and apologise for this mess, which may cost twice as much as the west coast main line fiasco?”
    So if been sanctioned whilst on the WP or any of the other unlawful schemes – get your appeal in now,

  30. “Some of those decisions include limiting political campaign ads in commercial media, introducing a conservative definition of family and allowing the top prosecutor to select judges in cases.”

    “Other proposals include outlawing sleeping on the streets and a law requiring state-sponsored university students to remain inside the country upon graduation.”

  31. Does anyone know whether it is now possible to volunteer for mandtory work activity? I went into the local co op shop and there were two young men, stacking shelves and laughing their heads off about it. They told me the jobcentre had sent them there, but they had volunteered.

    Co op had some half price food. However, that’s the last time I’m going in there – ever. Fuck their free cash machine. I’ll use the one outside the post office & stick to aldi 4 cheap food.

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