Day 3: Target the companies replacing paid work with workfare

If You Exploit Us We Will Shut You DownFrom Boycott Workfare

Workfare hands companies free labour which means fewer jobs and paid hours for everyone. But direct action and online pressure mean tens of brands now steer clear of it. Let’s step up the pressure on companies who still think they can profit from unpaid work!

Take action today to shame these companies and make them realise that exploiting unemployed people might just mean fewer customers this Christmas. There’s new online action every day this week so please keep checking back!

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer’s use of workfare hit public awareness when they announced 1400 new placements in their stores and a benchmark of 2% of the workforce to be unpaid. But this isn’t the brand’s first encounter with workfare. Despite their CEO earning over £2 million a year, they are also profiting from unpaid work through another workfare scheme in Scotland, which targets single parents. It’s likely their involvement is much more widespread – we also heard from someone sent on a 4 week placement at one of their outlet stores.

Last time we took action, M&S was forced to disable comments on their Facebook Page. Several pickets and walks of shame will pay a visit to their stores this week. Please feel free to contact them with your thoughts as well:

By email: Using their online form
By phone: See this useful list of numbers
Facebook: Marks and Spencer
Twitter: @marksandspencer

B&M Stores

In May, B&M won an award from the workfare industry for its involvement. But the reality of this involvement is harsh. One person has reported: “B&M stores have started using workfare Jan 2013. Receiving free labour and stopping overtime for employees with contracts. The people forced to do this free labour are not happy and neither are the employees!” Boycott Workfare has had reports of workfare at B&M stores in Bangor, Glasgow, Manchester, Southend and Northern Ireland. Show them they can’t keep cutting their wages bill with unpaid work!

By email: or
By phone: 0151 728 5400 or more numbers here.
Facebook: B&M Stores
Twitter: @bmstores


Asda has been at the heart of workfare in the UK, helping the government relaunch its “Work Experience” scheme last year. We have had reports that one of their stores in Manchester uses disabled people on workfare on the night shift. They are frank about their involvement here.

Asda contact form: Click here
Facebook: Asda
Twitter: @asda

Don’t forget to sign the petition calling for an end to all benefit sanctions without exceptions.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


52 responses to “Day 3: Target the companies replacing paid work with workfare

  1. Plenty of people comment on this blog etc. Use that energy and get telling these companies its out of order

  2. Thanks for putting this up, and enabling further protests against these exploiters.

    • But, do the workfare companies actually listen to what we say/do ??

      • I shouldnt think so unless there is enough public pressure to damage their image thats when they shit themselves .that’s why we have this battle with MSM a lot the govt willing mouthpieces ..some of it is truely vile and stupid too

  3. An image of using employees and not paying them is not one companies enjoy close to xmas, I wouldn’t have thought

  4. Morning fellow fighters and thanks for replying I am new to blogging and it is nice to speak to other people, Watch out for my name on headline news in the future because on behalf of disabled people the bastards are going to pay.

  5. The bastards at dwp and atos are going to pay I mean

    • Tread carefully, my friend. I share your sentiments, all of them. They (the DWP and Atos) are bastards, and they need to be taken down a peg or two. Well, several pegs really when you think about it. But don’t give them a reason to set the Old Bill on to you.

  6. “In the ruthless calculations of the financial oligarchy, the elimination of unemployment benefits for most of the jobless population will make the unemployed even more desperate for work, accepting poverty wages and third-world working conditions. This, in turn, will swell corporate profits and the wealth of the financial oligarchs that control political life in the US.”

  7. Has anyone else noticed that there are loads of internship jobs turning up on the Universal Jobmatch website. Are these jobs unpaid too?

    • zx123. internships are unpaid, the difference being they’re voluntary usually done by posh twats who have a rich mummy & daddy to support them as opposed to workfare which is forced slavery.

      • something survived...

        not voluntary any more. ex-businesspeople, some with MA or PhD, or anyone ablebodied and literate on JSA, are being ordered to go on internships as their workfare (no allowance to buy, wash and maintain suits though). JCP is sending them and they don’t get told the company till the last minute or have any right to object to the company.

  8. anti-work programme

    i’d be more concerned about the high amount of re-directs that now appear on UJM and also on the jobpoints

  9. Bit by bit, inch by inch, this government is trying to silence its critics…..

    Its being done in a devious fashion that purports to be focusing on another issue.
    The word “terrorism”, has been twisted out of context to allow the authorities carte blanche opportunity to exercise right of search on anybody they seek to harrass.
    This morning, Theresa May has made recommendations, including a consultation on legal powers to ban groups that preach hatred, if that is what the police decide…………..

    Mr Cameron set up the taskforce in June following the killing of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London, in May.

    Its recommendations also include:

    more support to areas with the “biggest integration challenges”, especially those where “extremism is a particular problem”

    looking at possible legislation to strengthen the powers of the Charity Commission

    working with internet companies to restrict access to terrorist material online that is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law

    improving the process for the public to report extremist content online

    Mr Cameron said: “This summer we saw events that shocked the nation with the horrific killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham.

    “These tragedies were a wake-up call for government and wider society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, prisons, Islamic centres or universities.”

    He added: “I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities.

    “We have already put in place some of the toughest terrorism prevention controls in the democratic world but we must work harder to defeat the radical views which lead some people to embrace violence.”

    Mrs May will make a written statement responding to the taskforce’s proposals.


    ………….at the same time, Attorney General, Dominic Grieve has also said he intends to clean up comments on twitter that could have a detrimental effect on an up and coming court cases………..

    These two moves represent a serious threat to free speech and will be definitely twisted to represent a hidden agenda, to shut you up!

    ……… only takes one person of authority, or the backing of the police, to deem the content of your dissatisfaction against the powers that be, to be reclassed as extremist, to order it to be shut down…………..

    This action is the thin end of the wedge, that when placed in tandem with terrorism laws, will be used to suppress the masses.

    Both stories featured on this mornings BBC news but have been mysteriously removed quickly, as was the story of the insurance industry shelling out £25 BILLION.

    Our country is being dismantled by stealth by a few chosen individuals in power………………………

    Never have so many new laws been introduced without proper consultation across the benches.

    You are being shafted, even as you sleep. The agenda of the multinationals, and the greed that corrupts, becomes more evident each day………………..

  10. Funny thing about the killing of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich is that there is now no mention of “terrorism” or charges, now. Makes you think?

  11. Asda….VOLUNTARY work placement?? They not heard about BENEFIT SANCTIONS? Folk are being bullied, whether physically/mentally fit or not, into slave labour.
    My daughter applied for a paid job at Asda. She got a negative response. Small wonder since this incompetent govt, after seemingly having a drinks session (heavily discounted in parliamentary food/drink banks by YOU,the taxpayers) and setting policy out on the back of a fag packet, make it a cause célèbre to overthrow the Slave Abolition Act.
    Useless bastards. Unless, of course, you are a member of the Condemn millionaires (minimum requirement, billionaires much more suitable) club. There you enjoy tax breaks, tax brakes and tax cuts. Oh. And free labour for your further cost cuts.

    • something survived...

      Asda sends disabled people to forced workfare on the night shift.
      -There is no public transport at night and most police stations are closed.
      -If you can afford (you can’t) care for your kids or adult person (parent or other) during the day, you certainly can’t at night. It’s unaffordable/unavailable. (Even care paid for by rich people with jobs, is often not ‘care’ and is inadequate, partial, patronising, crap, lousy or all of the above) What if your kids are also disabled? Do you leave the person/people at home unsupervised? (Then lose your kids to Social Services for neglect/abandonment?)
      -There is no public transport (see above) so how do you get to and from workfare? Are you meant to walk, go in your wheelchair, limp, hop, stagger, crawl all the way there?
      -When you get to the workfare you will be so knackered from getting there you are too tired to work, if you weren’t too tired and sick already.
      -Stacking shelves, cleaning etc. knackers your back. All rules on your health and safety are ignored because you are a Workfare Unit now. You can’t do lifting? Means you will invariably be assigned to heavy lifting and constant standing/walking.
      -It’s the night shift because (Disney ‘casting’ policy for staff at Disneyland, which racially profiles you too, does the same) ‘normal’ people shopping during the day should be spared from having to look at all those disabled people! (Disney allocates the graveyard shift to black, Hispanic etc workers and to those seen as unattractive or obese)
      -Also it doesn’t care about the safety of other workfare people, other paid workers, or the public.
      a) They don’t care (as they might if you applied voluntarily for a paid job) about CRB/DBS checks, background checks, references, police checks etc. They don’t care if you just (on workfare) got out of jail, are a registered sex offender, are an alcoholic, are a thief, are a drug addict, are a fraudster or shoplifter or arsonist… Or if you have behavioural/mental problems that would make working with/near you impossible. (The ‘you’ of course being in this instance all workfare workers)
      b) They probably don’t care if you’re sent to workfare with another workfare person or paid worker where one of you must not be near the other, like a restraining order for example.
      c) And -in a shop for the general public, that sells food for human consumption- they REALLY don’t care if you have health issues like a communicable disease. So you could infect other workfare workers, paid workers, the public, the bosses. You could also cause food to be contaminated and spread disease, like if you cough or sneeze on something. If a shop is responsible it sends such PAID workers home on full pay (but can take it off your sick days or holiday), and have you kicked out on SSP and then on JSA/ESA if it continues. But you can’t fire workfare staff; so they really don’t care you’ll make people ill.
      d) They don’t care if you injure your back etc. at work. Or if while working you cause an accident that injures someone else. You are obviously not insured. You can’t be anyway. No insurer will cover a claim for an incident relating to a workfare worker doing forced unpaid and untrained/unsupervised work while clearly disabled (and after saying they can’t do a physical task but are then forced to do it anyway), at the risk to themselves and everyone else, who then has an accident and somebody (paid staff, or public) gets hurt.
      e) They don’t care if you get sick, a rash, burns or anaphylactic shock from coming into contact with cleaning products. Or if it aggravates your asthma. Or if it makes your skin flake off and land on the food people are buying!

      -Asda said nothing about being bullied while on workfare, by other workfare people, paid staff, the bosses, or the public.
      -While the paid workers get Christmas bonuses, go to office/staff parties, and get staff benefits/discounts, the workfare get NOTHING.
      -The above may put them at risk from workfare people who feel aggrieved.
      -If you have to wear an ASDA uniform, it probably doesn’t fit. They want you to keep it washed and ironed (you probably can’t). The public won’t know you are workfare. They’ll assume you get all the things staff get.
      -Asda may not have provided any disabled toilets for staff, assuming all should be ablebodied.
      -If ASDA expect you to change on site, changing rooms can be a problem for your privacy and dignity. Also, if you are so poor and/or disabled that you lack facilities at home and/or can’t get the ‘city banker standard of personal hygiene at work’, you’ll quickly get in trouble or bullied about this. Even if the issue is uncontrollable sweating, open sores, paralysis, incontinence.

      ASDA: We have to be perverts
      Tesco: Every little serfs
      M&S: This is not just workfare, this is M&S workfare
      Poundland: Come to Poundland – We call it that because the pounds come off the workfare we employ, and they can’t even afford a pound to buy anything here!

  12. With the insurance industry planning to spend £25 billion in infrastructure, and Jeremy Hunt trying to change the law, that he should carry the sole responsibility to close down hospitals,without consultation, the privatisation of our jewel in the crown will flourish……………….

    Cameron has just rewarded his Private Health cronies who donated vast sums to tory coffers, please read Crispin Odey and Circle Partnerships, £790 donations and his circle of friends in the city and government

  13. “seven hundred and ninety thousand pounds”

  14. CircleBath Promo Image

    An award-winning hospital, led by some of the South West’s most experienced consultants and providing the very best care for private and NHS patients. Patients travel from around the UK to CircleBath’s specialist units.

    CircleReading Promo Image

    A five-star hospital with some of Berkshire’s leading consultants, offering a wide range of services for private and NHS patients.

    Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre Promo Image
    Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre

    The largest NHS Treatment Centre in Europe, with over 150 experienced consultants who are leaders in their specialist fields.

    Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust Promo Image
    Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust

    A district general hospital providing healthcare for more than 160,000 people in Huntingdonshire and surrounding areas.

  15. Reblogged this on The Thoughts of a Ginge and commented:
    More useful stuff in the battle against workfare and exploitation of poor and unemployed people

  16. “The YMCA are one of the greatest apologists for workfare and can’t even properly advise young people of their benefit sanctions rights.”

  17. And all those who back the W2W process and workfare should look to themselvrs as by advocating and giving it tacit support they are in fact putting their own jobs in peril because if this approach takes root then it will become more widespread ..the madness of firing people only to replace them with unpaid placements just adds to the unemployed list. .

  18. There is not a supermarket near me that does not take on workfare so you would be hard pressed to shop if you were to avoid them all.

  19. Pingback: Day 3: Target the companies replacing paid work...

  20. I also note your comments regarding propaganda against benefit claimants and austerity cuts. If you wish to have these complaints investigated you can submit your complaint via the following link:

    I do understand that you feel very strongly about this issue, so I’d like to assure you that I’ve fully registered your concerns.

    Email reply from BBC services to me..

  21. something survived...

    Well the higher-ups among them are safe. All they have to do is form a new workfare company and be the CEO. Then get workfare people sent to them.

    Excellent opportunities! None of our new workfare CEOs have had a DBS or police check, to save time and money.

    Workfare option 1: Send abuse survivors to work in a kids’ charity now set up dodgily and run by paedophiles. CEO: Gary Glitter

    Workfare option 2: Men who are racist are sick of the language barrier and foreignness of the foreign women and little girls shipped over in containers. They demand English speaking white British workers. To fill this gap, a coalition of famous wifebeaters and celebrated rapists have formed a new workfare organisation to help solve the problem. All ablebodied white British female workfare units (including lesbians) who are not seen as ‘mingers’, will be sent to this scheme. They will learn to entertain a variety of men, and provide personal adult entertainment services to clients.
    Oldfashioned concepts like consent are irrelevant.
    Compassionate Conservatives – Rehabilitating Rape!
    (NB A workfare unit being state property, it has no right to refuse consent, so its consent is now legally implied by the fact it is on workfare)
    CEO: [insert name of first white serial-rapist out of jail who applies for the job]

    Workfare option 3: Roads To Nowhere
    This worked wonderfully during the Irish Potato Famine. Male workers will be given one pair of ragged trousers the cat’s pissed on, no shoes, and a pick or hammer. Their ages will range from 16 to 120. Stripped to the waist, all year round, they will break rocks and build roads (that don’t really go anywhere) till they drop dead from cold, fatigue and starvation. NB: If they use the pick or hammer to attack overseers, their family will be burned at the stake. Their family’s ashes will be fed to them; and then they will be, while alive and conscious, incorporated into the tarmac of the new road. A steamroller a few hours after the tarmac is applied, will make absolutely sure (and iron out all those niggling lumps and bumps). CEO: Ian Duncan Smith (one of his personal projects)

    Workfare option 4: Wheely Cool
    People on workfare will be put in a giant wheel and have to walk the treadmill to generate power (or to turn nothing at all). Their only heat source will be their own physical exertion. If they fall they will be crushed to death in the mechanism, and their fellow slaves must extract them and clean up the blood before resuming work. CEO: Nigel Farage

    Workfare option 5: New Perspectives
    Religious jobseekers selected for this will be made to get a new perspective by forcible religious conversion. Atheists will also be ordered to become Christians. (References to the actual life and beliefs of Christ, are of course prohibited for all jobseekers and workfare units) CEO: Pastor Maale (Ugandan Guild of Homophobes a.k.a. ‘UGH’)

    Workfare option 6: The Hunger Games
    Instead of nationally and annually, these will now be held weekly in every town or city. A computer lottery, of all unemployed people and disabled people, will select the ‘tributes’ (sacrifices) from the local area. They will then be forced to fight to the death, or be gruesomely sacrificed if they refuse (along with their family). A perfect chance for locals with personal grudges against the tribute, to turn up to throw stones. CEO: Norman Tebbit

    Workfare option 7: Circus Academy
    Fun workfare option full of excitement and adrenaline. Workfare units will be targets for knife throwers (blind people on workfare), or fed to hungry lions and tigers. CEO: Grant Shapps twinned with Vlad The Impaler

    Workfare option 8: Wheely Crool
    Unemployed people will be put in wheelie bins and then thrown in the garbage truck. If they survive the crusher, they’ll be buried alive under mountains of rubbish at the landfill site. CEO: Eric Pickles

    Workfare option 9: Spread the Good News
    People on workfare (including the disabled) will be forced to go round all day for miles, covering lamp posts and suchlike in posters of people who are disabled and live locally. The poster will have the disabled person’s photo, full name, address, date of birth, ethnic group, sexual orientation, the fact they are on benefits, the amount of benefit received, landlord contact details, bank details, medical conditions, family details, schools their children attend. This will be an amazing integration project, to encourage mass participation by the local community to help them explain their views to the disabled person. Free weapons will be distributed to every Sun ‘reader’. CEO: Jobshare between ‘Tommy Robinson’ and Nick Griffin

    Workfare option 10: Share the Love
    Workfare people sent to this scheme will be deliberately infected with HIV, placed in an internment camp with no medicine, and left to die. The results will be filmed. CEO: Theresa May.

    Workfare option 11: For the Good of Science
    Workfare units will be sent to one of a network of MengeleCentres, where medical and scientific experiments will be done on them until their vital status is reversed to the off-position. CEO: ‘Doctor’ Mengele (Deceased) (Current advisor to the Conservative Party on Zombie Relations)

    Workfare option 12: We’re All In This Together
    1000 giant mega palaces for the personal use of King/Sir/God Ian Duncan Smith, will be constructed on SSSI’s and AONB’s across the country. They will be built from public funds, saving money by employing workfare. The renewable workforce will have a rapid turnover, quarrying granite for example. We guarantee an unending supply of workfare units, to replenish worker deficit from everyday normal work conditions such as death. Millions of unemployed and disabled people will be needed. If they build them, a further 2000 palaces are planned for David Cameron. Finally, the workfare will be forced to chop down every tree and green plant, and then to concrete over the whole of Britain. Britain will be rebranded with the dynamic modern name of Airstrip One. David Cameron will be its first Life President. CEO: David ‘I love my own reflection’ Cameron

    Workfare option 13: Motorway Testing
    To check if motorway traffic is still going fast enough for the economy to function, we are going to push wheelchair users down grass verges onto motorways and film the results. We will also throw other disabled people in front of lorries. Fast-enough vehicles should be unaffected, and will be allowed to continue their journey without stopping. An excellent chance for disabled people to participate in vital research.
    CEO: IDS, channelling the disembodied spirit of Adolf Hitler

  22. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what
    can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

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