Crash The Poverty Pimp’s Workfare Party And Track Down Your Local Workfare Exploiter

mcds-workfareA poverty pimp party is taking place on twitter this week as the Week of Work Experience ‘celebrates’ the world of unpaid work and workfare.

The organisers of this workfare jamboree are @FairTrainOrg, who have been handed a chunk of tax payer’s cash to come up with a Work Experience Quality Standard scheme.  Appallingly even the TUC have been dragged in to support this crude Government attempt to use unpaid workers to drive down wages and working conditions for everyone.

Fair Train claim that to qualify for this workfare badge of shame all work experience should be regarded as voluntary, a laughable claim when unemployed people are bullied and sanctioned on a daily basis in Jobcentres for not carrying out endless jobseeking activity – which can include workfare.  Nothing is truly voluntary for those signing on under the present regime when Jobcentre staff are awarded Easter Eggs and set unofficial targets to sanction as many benefit claims as possible.

Astonishingly, some of those awarded this Quality Standard may even be breaking minimum wage laws.   Unpaid work is illegal in most circumstances unless it is part of a Government backed scheme or genuine volunteering for a charity.  That doesn’t seem to matter to Fair Train or the likes of Murdoch’s Sky News who are using the week to advertise unpaid work placements that don’t even pay travel expenses.

For a long time now those opposed to workfare have had to resort to sleuthing to uncover the businesses and charities involved in unpaid work.  The DWP have even refused to name which organisations are taking placements on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme such is the public’s  outrage at this form of exploitation.  According to the Department this workfare scheme may collapse if people were told the truth about who is taking part.  Meanwhile the DWP have admitted that they don’t know how many organisations are making use of forced unpaid work on the Work Programme or where participants might be being sent.

Luckily keeping an eye on the hashtag #WEWeek2013 may finally mean that more workfare exploiters are brought to justice, with those who choose to boast about not paying their staff likely to face protests, pickets and boycotts.

Only a handful of organisations have signed up to the Quality Standard so far and it is unclear how many of them are involved in forced work despite the guidelines.  But all of them are quite happy to support undermining both genuine volunteering and paid work by using Government schemes to coerce unemployed people into working for nothing.

Fair Train are tweeting from @WorkExpWeek and are also on facebook at:

Fair Train are asking businesses to sign up to a pledge in support of Work Experience.  No-one seems to have bothered so far, but those organisations opposed to unpaid work can sign the Boycott Workfare pledge at:

If you spot a workfare exploiter boasting about their use of unpaid work on #WEWeek2013 then ask them for further details – such as which Government scheme they are using.  Then contact Boycott Workfare to have them Named and Shamed so everyone can see just who exactly is using forced unpaid workers in the UK.

Intern Aware are also collecting stories of people who have worked as unpaid interns and who may even be able to claim backdated wages.  More details are at:

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

82 responses to “Crash The Poverty Pimp’s Workfare Party And Track Down Your Local Workfare Exploiter

  1. Fuck all of the Tory fucking bastards.

  2. something survived...

    That vile ad, ‘There’s a McDonald’s for everyone’
    Seethe. I’m a strict vegetarian and boycott the place. In fact none of their products including salad and orange juice, due to production methods are vegetarian and fruit salad is not guaranteed to be be vegetarian. Staff are treated like crap. For more info check out books like A is for Additives, the A to z of Additives, anything by Morgan Spurlock of ‘super size me’ fame or try contacting his vegan chef girlfriend. Currently their other ads are a bunch of greenwash. Then I started to see the light. They were right all along, there IS the perfect McDonald’s for me. Burnt down; or a smoking crater.

  3. oh for my salvation ops sorry another one taking the p but then slaverys back with a vengeance and begging is out thewindow with this newlawbrought in today no begging here

  4. Some of their tweets are just bizare.
    A woman, evidenced only by a photo, who recently had a ‘family tragedy’, who somehow, without explanation, benefitted from ‘work experience’.

    Another person who got funding to design a game?!?

    I’m sure that’s exactly the sort of thing the Jobcentre will be dishing out.

  5. “For example, all of the Royal Mail’s real estate is being transferred to the new private owners for less than the value of the Royal Mail’s London real estate alone. Neil Clark reports that one Royal Mail London depot is worth about one billion British pounds; but the entire real estate assets of the Royal Mail–public property–is being transferred to the new private owners for about three-quarters of one billion British pounds. The deal was so loaded in favor of the private purchasers that the share price rose almost 40 percent on the first day of trading. (This might have been some sort of nominal trading as the deal possibly has not been finalized.)”

  6. Why should only middle class interns have their wages backdated, what about those that were forced to do workfare in poundland etc.?

    The “Economist” rag has just put our town under the title “urban Ghosts”, and describes the area as one of three that make up “Rustbelt Britain”.
    We have lost £715 per working age person in welfare cuts, we have 13% unemployment twice the national average and 28% of shops are closed.
    The government plans more council spending cuts and no investment, we are doomed for another decade according to their journalists.

    What they are really saying is they can’t get us to work for nothing and demand decent wages both of which equals no investment, who wants that kind of shitty investment?

  7. PS why are you asking if we like the comments or not, I think Annos’s comment about the rigged royal mail sell off is worthy of praise for info, but I don’t like the subject matter that he has been appalled enough to write about.

    • guy fawkes

      I am on topic!. The link say’s it ALL, the powers that be are “looting”.

      Unemployment money, DLA, Royal Mail, they are “looting” everything.

      • overburdenddonkey

        annos..g fawkes…
        plundering pirates, pieces of eight…asset stripping our futures..

      • Annos

        I was not criticizing you for the subject matter, I was criticizing the fact that we are having to write about such disgusting subject matters and things we do NOT like to write about and I am against all of this point scoring on comments anyway.

  8. I’m reminded of a scene from the League of Gentlemen, where Pauline (having been sacked) and Mickey are forced to work at a local hamburger joint. Pauline squeezes the puss from Mickey’s spots into the hamburgers.

    Hmm. Now that’s a terrible thing to do, isn’t it. Or is it.

    • comfortably numb

      Has the programme just been shown on channel 5 ‘On benefits and proud’ been real people, or government employed actors trying to increase hatered towards the unemployed? Channel 5 should be brought to account for airing such a programme and show the thousands that are struggling to eat. They should be made to balance it out and not just show dick heads proud to be abusing the system. Its just not representative of the norm.

      • I don’t think ‘popping out eleven kids’ is the ‘norm’ in anyone’s book, love.

        • Doris

          Without contraception people were popping out 11 kids or more and some people for religious reasons don’t take contraception, take your fascist views elsewhere.

          • Doris, where are these individuals “popping out 11 kids”? Probably only exist in the pages of the Daily Heil, which as we all know is a comic for swivel-eyed fascists like yourself.
            And should the DWP ever expect me to work as a slave for the likes of greedy capitalists such as Poundland, well they can go & fuck themselves, No WAGES, no WORK!

            • … that’s what I meant – it is made-up drivel, a load of tripe, pure and utter propaganda. You have read me the wrong way! 🙂

            • Just to make myself perfectly clear 🙂 lol I am not swivel-eyed right-wing Daily Heil reading fascist… on the contrary lol

            • on the contrary what Doris? There is no mistaking what you SAID and how you MEANT it.

            • overburdenddonkey

              btw my father was one of 15, big families were the norm where he was bought up, a few died young, something to do with a war…my other granny was one of many sisters, my grandfathers also came from big families…i come from a massive family and network…work was available and every one did, and when they did not they were “supported” and work was quickly found, as many eyes and ears assisted in job search…then come the 60’s, and all started to change..careful what you wish for…no telly, just massive shindigs, every one did a party piece, play instruments had a few tunes from the “old country”…no, not all sugar and spice, far from it…we did not live in each others pockets neither, but i’d trade every day from this day to my end, for one day back with them, well most of them, just to ask them what they thought of things as they are now, they had guts, character and never back down in a fight, if they knew they were right…they literally did fight for their rights, our rights…where are they?

            • You know perfectly well what I meant, guy, you are just spoiling for a fight. If you want to take a swipe at someone how about ‘Iain Duncan Smith’ who regularly posts on here 🙂

      • Refused to watch such tripe, knew it was propaganda before it was aired,all in the title.

  9. Landless Peasant

    How about that other vital detail that completes the whole ‘work experience’, i.e. a wage? If you want me to work, pay me. If you want me to gain some free work experience I’ll sit at home and watch ‘The Office’.

  10. It seems under the new claimant commitment that is set to underpin Universal Credit (and is indeed set to be imposed on new JSA claimants from this month) claimants could be forced to take a job that only offers a zero-hours contract, even though that will mean the claimant having to sign off. This comes from an exchange during Work and Pensions questions between IDS and Andy Sawford, Labour/Co-op MP for Corby. More can be read here:

    This is a deeply worrying turn of events, and if it comes to pass will see thousands of people sanctioned for refusing to take a zero-hours job, or otherwise forced to take one end up with no guaranteed income.

  11. Universal Credit is fucked. And It will remain fucked! I can do that. Fuck things.

  12. it appears the uprising is starting 3 times in the last week or so police have been at my local job center while inside could here at least two people getting Irate shouting at there advisers ect , there are now 12 g4s guards on the said premises, they used to only be 4. also upon leaving a bloke had launched one of there pc moniters through the window, last week 2 of the job points pushed over!

    • … noticed the security guards… I mean ‘customer care officers’ in the jobcentre all wear stab-proof vests… if the jobcentre carry on the way they are carrying on with their brutal sanctions regime and they are not careful their staff are going to end up being seriously injured or even killed… there is only so much punishment and humiliation that a human being can take before they kick back… it is in their nature.

  13. i my self have now signed off it really is not worth i suppose they have won, i have 16 sanctions! 8 i got in 5 days, some going back to 2011 asking why i never attended, work program WTF. was also given a direction to allow access to universal jobmatch told em to fuck off, i cant take no more, also lost out on a job due to lack of busfare, so yeah they won in my case, was making me ILL fighting them daily, i have lost weight, hopefully my doctor will see how it’s made me poorley and i might get some ESA for a couple of months, my advice to all who are stronger mentally than me to not give up!!

    • don’t let the bastards grind you down! Fuck these smarmy dwp/jobcentre cunts, they will get their comeuppance.


    • Thanks for the info, fdIDSnmb. Information/experience shared does make a difference. This week, a Welfare Rights advice person (it’s getting harder to get to see someone at Citizens Advice), said that concrete advice on trying to prevent sanctions isn’t easy to give (!). Essentially, the advice given was just to “be careful” before admitting that most of the time, benefits-wise, it’s people who’ve already been sanctioned that they mainly advise and try to help – and a sort of ‘But what can you do?’ eye-rolling look of resigned despair.

      This is the world we’re now waking in to every day – where (some) ‘Welfare Rights’ people (sort of) know about and feel disgust for the system unemployed and disabled/ill people are facing, yet they also know far less, in real terms, than many of the people living with it and supporting one another day-to-day. And (sometimes) less of a clear understanding of the (always-changing) options available to us. Their intentions are probably nearly always good, but dealing with the complex ins & outs ‘The Regime’, as it’s now called by (some) JCP staff, takes a set of skills that would test a robot/genius.

      • Brenda Barnstubble

        No chance of finding a CAB round these yon parts, love… me local Citizens Advice Bureau is now a blooming bookies!

  14. Pingback: Crash The Poverty Pimp's Workfare Party And Tra...

  15. fdidsnb

    I wish you well and hopefully you will still keep up the fight verbally on as many sites slating us as possible.

  16. “Jobcentre staff are awarded Easter Eggss”,while their jobseeker clients on this “Unfair Trade” scam get crucified (almost literally).It would be pathetic if it was not so bloody criminal.

  17. fucking dipise Iain dunking shithead nazi bastard

    been to my doctors this morning was nigh on impossible 2 get a sick note/ medical letter ect reluctantly gave me a 7 day one ? not sure it’s even worth making a claim for ESA ? gave me some drinks called fortisip for the weight loss

  18. comfortably numb

    Looks like food banks are now so crucial to the poverty stricken and the third class citizens this government are creating that local councils are now having to budget for them.

    • overburdenddonkey

      slowly but surely food troughs for the poor become the norm…

      • If the council can budget for food banks, then they can give said money to those that need them so that they can buy their own food of choice.

        • Good idea, guy, that would cut out a lot of the profiteering middlemen and busybodies… but where is the humiliation in just sending someone money that they can go and spend in the shops? Is humiliation not the whole point of having to go begging to a ‘foodbank’?

  19. overburdenddonkey

    i must be living in a parallel universe, now if i were to block negative tweets, and therefore only post the positive tweets, we could all be overwhelmed with support, wouldn’t we?

    • overburdenddonkey

      no one needs pre-work training, notwithstanding that which is learnt in school and family life, already, we are already work ready , we are human beings and been using tools for 1000’s of years, (skara brea, orkney), it is these skills, that separate us from all other animals…..we innately carry a work ethic, so that we can provide our vitals….no one needs pre-work training, no one, pay dirt is the only reason, is the only incentive, we need wages, this is the best of WE..and of course 5m new jobs…which will of course require an economic miracle as never seen the rich getting their wallets out and giving us our money back..and not toy jobs…working without wages is demoralising..the whole point of work is to receive pay…
      pre-work training is a door mat, thinly disguised as a door, to role play for the cameras…to kid the public on that real jobs exist, “helping the hard to help”, the help is paid work, ie jobs, where are they…if an employer sees one as right for the job, they’ll employ one…
      for the lucky few, to get foot hold in the natural churn of a limited jobs market, such as we have now? people would get those jobs in any case, by chance of being, in the right place, at the right time, which it always is/was, has used to be like rats, never more than 6ft away from 1…the distance between people and jobs has vastly increased, so it is even more important people spend more time trying to be as close to one of these elusive creatures, called jobs, as possible, so the we might catch one, rather than spending endless, pointless, anxiety creating hours, without pay, talking about what one would do if one could even get close to catching one…it is mostly only ever going to be those that are already out there looking, with undivided attention, who will catch one…
      i’m sure that these “providers” in question would be willing to work, without pay, to prove themselves worthy role models?….howl, “but our, (being paid), pay is how we value ourselves” , really!

      • obd

        The service sector jobs that they are foisted on people, need little in the way of training except carers, other than that all of these training schemes and poverty pimp workers are just made up jobs for the mindless morons who support the tory party and would be out of work were it not for the unemployed.

        • overburdenddonkey

          g fawkes
          the moral way to do it, is by putting a leaflet on a table, on a take it or leave it basis, not to ram it down peoples throats.
          if people choose to pick the leaflet up and then feel that they have a need of what is on offer, they will approach them. without obligation, to explore what is on offer..
          no sanctions, no pressures of conditionality…but individuals freewill choice…
          my granny who had 15 children, lived till she was nearly 90, smoked, and liked a tipple, or 3, she knew how to party.
          she hated salvation/redemption people, she had already made her choice, which was none of anyone else business, and woabetide them if they knocked on her door, selling god…i respect her for that..

          • overburdenddonkey

            ps g fawkes…
            WE must have paypacket experience…

            • We must have a fair incomes policy to go with the paypackets not salaries and expenses for the middle class and poverty level wages for everyone else.
              Miliband today on pmq’s agreeing unemployment was down, no mention of the fact that they are put on part-time or zero hour jobs or on workfare or sanctioned.
              Then we have Cameron spouting about how he has raised the tax thresholds taking a lot of low paid out of tax altogether, what he didn’t say was those that had an increased wage packet because of reduced taxes also lost housing benefits and tax credits because of it.
              Tax reductions, pay rises and benefit increases only benefit the rich not the poor.

            • overburdenddonkey

              g fawkes
              the food bank sector is doing well, tripled in growth, did he mention that as a plus point? 3 vouchers, 3 times pa…

            • overburdenddonkey

              9 days “free food” pa, and highly conditional….only 356 days to make up..
              hopeless is the relief of knowing, and stopping doing what makes no sense…hope however is the reasonable expectation of the gratification of desires…therefore, i fight not from a sense of hopelessness, nor a sense of hope, but from a sense of righteousness, because it is right that i should, vitals (needs), must be met, truth is my master, we are benefit entitled, these benefits are our rights, not hopes, as is paid work…no to sanctions and conditionality, to get what is a human right, food, shelter, clothes, and decent health care.. ..yes, to paid work…where is it?
              some kids draw food on paper, and eat the paper, others eat crumbled brick to fill gut, some eat raw meat…many food bank “customers” hand back food they cannot cook, coz it costs too much to cook it…

  20. Pingback: Government Contracts With Private Providers Being Examined More Widely. | ukgovernmentwatch

  21. The only people better off living on benefits are those that may be on the sick but have a spouse working to bring in extra income.

  22. Landless Peasant

    Just been told I have to do Mandatory Work Activity. Oh joy.

  23. Off topic.

    With all the problems people are having I thought I would put up two posts that I saw on another site. I know so many people are short off or have no money, that is why I have put this post on.

    “The bank clerk who helped me told me that when the automated voice starts telling you the options to speak the word ‘advisor’ and you will bypass all that rigmarole and get straight through to a real, live person”

    Then I saw this.


  24. Just nearly put my foot through the telly. BBC news report about food banks, the “journalist” presenting the report had to throw these comments in “is it because more people are struggling or is it because of more awareness of food banks & the availabilty of free food” And an interview with some hatchet-faced old hag who didn’t miss a chance either.& I quote not verbatim though as my blood was boiling by then ” you want to to make sure that it’s going to the right people & not to those who’ve just gone to the off-licence & bought fags, cans of beer & a litre of cider”
    Is this what these brainwashed cunts truly believe, that those who are desperate are using these tory-run food banks for fun? Never allowing the truth to stand in the way at yet another cheap shot at the poor.
    Time the BBC was sold off, it’s totally lost sight of it’s heritage & is no better than Channel 5.
    I know this is off topic but I just had to let off steam!

  25. Well said kittycat I have been letting off steam further up about today’s pmq’s.
    The red cross is also now in uk dishing out food – we are an international disgrace.

  26. Do people that are sanctioned by the DWP appear on the unemployment figures? Or is it another way to manipulate statistics?

    • big beans

      The sanctioned do not appear on the unemployment figures, therefore those who are sanctioned look like they are in work.

  27. overburdenddonkey

    the posties are out on strike 4 10 13…

  28. why have the posties waited to be privatized before they go on strike to try and get a pay rise and prove that all is wonderful in the private sector, right on xmas too.

  29. Pingback: The Humiliating Failure of the Week of Workfare | the void

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