Wetherspoons Are Out Of Workfare … Sort Of, Maybe

Boycott-workfare-holiday-innWetherspoons have announced they “no longer support the Workfare programme” on facebook in a statement which leaves more questions than answers.

The statement goes on to say: “We continue to support entirely voluntary work experience programmes, in particular those for the young, the disabled and ex-military. We define ‘entirely voluntary’ as programmes where candidates will not lose any benefits where they do not participate in the programme, and normally candidates are paid to complete this experience.  We do not support programmes if attendance is mandatory for benefits to be retained, for example Workfare.”

It is unclear whether this means they are still involved in the Government’s Work Experience programme.   When the workfare row broke out at the beginning of last year the DWP was forced to make Work Experience officially ‘voluntary’.  Unfortunately due to the current regime at the DWP nothing can be said to be voluntary anymore as claimants live in permanent fear of losing benefits the moment they put a foot wrong.

Claimants who refuse voluntary workfare can simply be sent on Mandatory Work Activity somewhere else instead.  Whilst the DWP continues to use benefit sanctions to punish claimants – with 2.25 million benefit sanctions imposed since this Government weren’t elected – then no Jobcentre run scheme is voluntary.

And even if someone does ‘volunteer’ to work unpaid for a private company it should still be resisted.  Wetherspoons are not a charity and have no right to be exploiting young people’s fear of unemployment  to trick them ‘volunteering’ to increase the profit they make.  Every worker deserves a wage.

Clarification is needed from Wetherspoons on their true position on workfare.  And whilst they’re at it they can have a fucking word with themselves for allowing their pubs to be used as EDL social clubs.

Wetherspoons are on twitter @jdwtweet and on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/wetherspoon/168018523150

To join the fight against unpaid work visit Boycott Workfare.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


49 responses to “Wetherspoons Are Out Of Workfare … Sort Of, Maybe

  1. 2.25 million sanctions… does anyone have a figure for the average number of times a benefit claimant who has been sanctioned at least once will have been sanctioned? Because at that rate, it very much looks as though the majority of claimants will have been sanctioned, at which case any assertion that sanctions are anything other than business as usual at the DWP would be laughed out of court.

    No wonder they aren’t publishing the figures…

    (btw, the DPAC server seems a little unwell at the moment. Overloaded, misconfigured or deliberately buggered about with…?)

    • Ah, my fault – seems the DPAC software doesn’t like the Links browser very much. I’ve now seen the figures… and that 2.25m only extends up to October 2012. God knows what the total is by now – but 670,000 of those sanctions (30% of that 2.25m!) were given out in the last seven months of the figures; in the seven months since then, if we assume exponential growth in the number of sanctions issued – that is, that just as the total number of sanctions issued grew by 42.8% in the 7 months to October, it grew by another 40% in the 7 months since – we’re looking at another 900,000 sanctions handed out, for a total of 3.15m.

      That number starkly reveals the extent to which sanctions have become a normalised part of the system. I’d say that every JSA claimant can expect to be sanctioned at least once.

      How can that POSSIBLY be justified?

      • (Of course, it’s possible that the number of sanctions issued has fallen – but purely because there aren’t enough JSA claimants left to sanction. As I say, it looks an awful lot like the DWP’s intention is that every JSA claimant be disqualified from claiming JSA by 2015.)

  2. Obi Wan Kenobi

    After the DWP go to the Supreme Court of Justice in July – I doubt any Workfare schemes will be running – they will probably be found unlawful and DWP will be ordered to shut them all down.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      If they are ordered to shut them down it will be a stark warning for The Labour Party.

    • I think this is exactly why the Supreme Court have opted to hear the appeal – that and the government’s flagrant contempt of court. One way or another, there’s a constitutional crisis coming very quickly around the corner; we need to have the principle established that government must abide by the law, rather than seeking to rewrite it to remove obstacles – which will require the SC to be granted, or to seize, the power to strike down primary legislation as incompatible with constitutional obligations, rather than merely issuing a declaration of incompatibility as is currently done.

      It’s strange. You’d think that the Tories, normally all about repatriating powers from Europe, would be all in favour of bringing the power to strike down primary legislation home from Strasbourg…

  3. Before long i wont be able to go anywhere because they are running workfare schemes…some of the food at wetherspoons is rubbish and i am not that keen on pubs becoming a chain store either .Its this Bloody branding of everything thats annoying.

    • @ bobchewie, If you promise to stop, telling the truth, awakening and informing others, Dungcan Snifffy will treat you to a £39 pound breakfast. LOL.

  4. Gwen, these people aren’t Tories, they’re neoliberals. There’s no right and left any more, it’s neoliberal vs antineoliberals.

    • I’ve thought much the same for a while myself, only I tend to see it more as authoritarians vs libertarians (the real meaning of that word, not the right wing loons’ co-opting of it). But hypocrisy annoys me.

  5. This govt should be charged with crimes against humanity,never mind work programmes.

  6. @workhouse 39 quid feeds me for two weeks not a bloody breakfast. Btw some councils are using premier inn to house people…i hope it wont upset the tourist trade..

    • @bobchewie. No worries, the tourist trade should be fine. They can do tours of poverty stricken housing estates, tours of homeless people living in caves and of course the ultimate tour, the take the sleeping bags and food from the homeless tour, accompanied by heavily armoured and well fed police officers. ( Well if you consider Mcdonalds good eating?)

      • Sorry I forgot the next big thing assured to bring the tourists flocking to this country, UK 2014 “The Hunger Games” Big business for G4S as well. Of course it will instill a new sense of national pride, boost the economy and reduce the population. Every little helps, as they say.

    • overburdenddonkey

      chewie..don’t forget the freight containers!

  7. yes Neolibleralism and Individulism = Narcissistic society. Thats what the Torys are and want.

  8. excuse the spelling mistake there ooops!!! I am just so angry

  9. Is 900 ,000 a magic number as it keeps showing up a lot for some reason…weird..

  10. Jvoid do you know about white paper called. Building Britains Recovery : Acheiving Full Employment?

    I found DWP aims in a document.
    ‘Reduce the proportion of children living in workless households ”

    Or is that reduce the proportion of children ?
    Its an odd document Full of aims and intentions mostly crap i suspect.
    Lone parents ethnics over 50s disadvantaged low educational qualifications blah blah. Increase employment rates..

  11. Pingback: Wetherspoons Are Out Of Workfare ... Sort Of, M...

  12. I am ashamed of all the the low despicable actions being taken by this current government and successive governments, the end game is to hollow everybody out by making them feel that being in work on minimum wage is actually a priviledge. £6.19 an hour even in full time employment is on a parity with a single persons combined benefits, nothing is taken into account for a persons travelling expenses and at work food expenses and so on. Give the working man a decent living wage and he will circulate that money to get the economy moving, I cant remember the last holiday I had or the last clothing I purchased, minimum wage jobs stagnate spending, all businesses are suffering because of minimum wage, wake up employers and help your own business flourish.

    • The whole world is fucked….nuke it!

      • Eric Greenwood (4727)

        There are rumours that the tories want to have a mimimun wage holiday for employers, when people are not paid the minimum wage..

      • In the developed world, the greatest collective fear people had up until the end of the Cold War, was the fear of nuclear Armageddon. It seemed that it was inevitable that it would happen at some point. Now, the prospect of a global thermonuclear war doesn’t seem so frightening compared to the dystopian, Orwellian, nightmare world our rulers are creating for us. At least a nuclear war is a quick way to die. In fact, in a nuclear war, you would die so quickly you would probably die without even knowing that you had died. That would be preferable, to being slowly ground down by the soul-destroying poverty, exploitation and humiliation our rulers are inflicting on us.

        • something survived...

          The majority of the people (not at ground zero) would die later from blast injuries and burns; and those still alive would die in days, weeks, months or years from radiation poisoning. Also it causes cancers and genetic deformities. The blackout of the atmosphere following a global thermonuclear war (all rain = radioactive) would lead to (perhaps for centuries): would decrease temperatures (though some say increase), and stop plants growing: everything/everyone would starve.
          The only things left would be gold bars, rats, flies, cockroaches, IDS….

          and Michael Gove locked together in a solar-powered bunker (locks not working due to no sunlight) forever– with an endless supply of viagra

      • Give it time. Gaia is rearing her hand in preparation to flick us from her surface with all the nonchalance of a horse swishing its tail at a fly. Humanity’s great evolutionary advantage may be its intelligence, but we will be undone by the fact that we are, collectively, too stupid to live.

    • Short term profit causing short sightedness
      They don’t give a shit about the next generation that’s not their problems

  13. There is no problem at all if people choose to do work experience; hey if they volunteer to do so and they get a job from that then even better. It’s the compulsion, and the threat of sanctions and destitution that come with it that I object to. The government should make all of its schemes – the Work Programme, Work Experience and CAP for example – 100% voluntary. If they do that these schemes might actually become more effective and deliver on the government’s stated aims of helping people into work.

    Sadly this government isn’t interested in helping people, and all they really want is to increase the amount of forced labour in the economy to drive down wages and conditions. So that’s that…

    • But if they were made voluntary, people would actually want to use them, and not be at all shy in complaining when they realised that they didn’t work.

      Because working – or at any rate, helping people to find work – was never the point of the Work Programme. It was always intended as (1) a means of siphoning off tax funds into private hands, and (2) a way of punishing poor people for being poor. Actually attempting to do it properly would compromise aim 1, and if it succeeded anyway it would compromise aim 2. But blame for its failure can always be shovelled onto the backs of the very poor people it’s failing, making it the ideal mechanism for – let’s call it what it is – embezzlement by proxy.

      • I agree with you, and that was the point of my comment – the WP is more a means to “reduce the claimant count”, rather than offer genuine help to people.

        Another thing that shows the real purpose of this programme is the fact claimants aren’t allowed to choose which provider they go to, since according to the government this will skew the outcome figures. But surely if the government truly believes in the principles of the market claimants would not only be allowed to pick and choose where they go, but also be given the providers’ performance figures, so they can make an informed choice. This would ensure the best performing providers are rewarded with more clients, more business, and thus more performance-related income. Instead what we have is a rigged market, where people are treated as “stock” (grist for the mill), and the providers cream off the profits.

  14. I appreciate the info on your websites. Thanks a bunch!

  15. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Employment Minister Mark Hoban on the benefits system:

    “How’s it work? … don’t ask me, says Hoban”

    He can’t make head or tail of the benefits system. And he’s a minister.

    Nice to see another minister on top of his brief. They sought wisdom from employment minister Mark Hoban. What did they get? “I can’t navigate my way round the benefits system,” he said. Speaking at a Catholic church conference on combating poverty, the minister admitted that when a constituent comes to his surgery with a benefits problem, he sends them straight round to Citizens Advice. “We have a complex benefits systems,” he said. Quite! Hoban admitted that in 2011 the government decided it would signpost people from jobcentres to food banks. Now that 500,000 families are turning up at the food banks – many as a result of welfare benefit problems – no wonder the minister admitted he was “keen to do some more work on how food banks operate”. At full stretch, he will find. Shambles upon shambles. Yikes. Your life in their hands.


    • Seeking wisdom from Mark Hoban strikes me as on a par with taking driving lessons from Chris Huhne…

      • something survived...

        Hoban is clueless. CAB’s have waiting lists to see people by appointment and when you do get to the end of the queue, they can’t see you for long. Food banks? I applied over a year ago and not one morsel of food has come my way. Hoban should live like this to see what it’s really all about!

  16. Because nothing says succcess for a country competing against an amoral powerhouse like China more than working for nowt in a pub. Think of all the scientific achievments that a solid foundation in ‘sorry sir i think you’ve had enough’ that can be made. Think of the economic leaps that are facilitated by knowing the price of a pint of lager. It can’t go wrong!

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      My question is:

      If as Mark Hoban says, he doesn’t know how the benefits system works, why does he still have his job as Employment Minister?

      • overburdenddonkey

        obi…he’s taking the piss…havin’ a laugh at our expense…he knows full well how it all works…pass the buck…too lazy to deal with the questions…sliding the job…

        • something survived...

          If forced to work in a pub (great if you’re Muslim, a gay woman, a teetotaller or an ex-alcoholic – or a black/Asian person in an EDL area),
          what if someone glasses you or worse?

  17. I wouldn’t drink in a Wetherspoons pub (even if I could afford) as they support the Tory scum.

  18. Rosemarie Harris

    A bit late in the day they must have been at it for ages so what has changed now for them to come out with this?
    If they take” volunters “do they feed them while they are at work? or give them tokens for later? what do these” volunters” get for helping them achive their profits?
    Did anyone here “volunter” for them? and what help did they get?
    In regards to food and drink i include soft drink in this.
    They are pretending they cared!

  19. Those that have been forced onto this work programmes should let us know the conditions they have had to put up with, as well as working for benefits only.

  20. Pingback: Don’t Ask Me About Benefits I Don’t Understand Them Admits Benefits Minister | the void

  21. Pingback: Wetherspoons Are Out Of Workfare … Sort ...

  22. @Johnny void what is this Newcastle stuff .’making Newcastle a working city’ with stuff about avanta and ingeus and volunteering and routeways vocational training stuff…i posted the PDF link on yr previous blog. It says it will go beyond the normal jobcentre powers…ive downloaded the PDF..

  23. rainbowwarriorlizzie

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

  24. something survived...

    New diet devised for IDS, Mark Hoban and the rest of them

    The other month clearing up the back yard I found some icecream tubs probably full of icecream or meat or something that had been left to rot and turn into a thick jelly. My housemates left it there to stink up the place. After refusing for months to clean it up, they didn’t care, and guess who had to fix it? Each tub had a big clump of moss in it off the roof, that was thriving – put there deliberately. It took about 5 buckets of water at a time on 3 consecutive weeks to clear it up to the stage where I could pick up the moss and relocate it. Some of the scum/slime was still clinging around in the yard the other week. It reminded me of politicians. It doesn’t go no matter how many times you scrub it. Well they should try eating it… They say you are what you eat.

    Sorry that was appallingly crass and insensitive. To scum and slime.

  25. Oh, yes. I think I’ve found the perfect place for My holiday. This country’s even fucking crazier than the Shivering Isles!

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