Take Action Against @GroundworkUK: No Grounds For Greenwashing Workfare

groundworkuk-ruining-livesFrom Boycott Workfare

Groundwork boasts of its involvement in workfare. Join in with an online blockade of their social media and let them know what you think of their prolific and unashamed use of forced unpaid labour.  

Take online action today against Groundwork, the green charity using unpaid labour. Branches of Groundwork up and down the country openly advertise their involvement in all kinds of workfare, including the latest and most exploitative programmes.

Charities and voluntary organisations should know the value of volunteering. Instead Groundwork is taking thousands of unemployed people on workfare placements with no pay and putting people at risk of sanctions. According to their own statistics they forced 4,500 people through workfare last year alone. They trade on the goodwill of their ‘volunteering’ projects to secure government money for unpaid labour schemes.

Groundwork is also taking part in the latest draconian scheme, Community Work Placements (CWP), as a sub-contractor of G4S in Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria. CWP is a six month long placement – twice the length of the maximum community service sentence for committing a crime.  Workfare criminalises unemployed people and then punishes them more harshly than other people who are forced to work for free. It does this without even the appearance of judicial process: people are punished just because they’re unemployed.

More than 400 charities and 22 councils have rejected CWP and other workfare schemes by signing the Keep Volunteering Voluntary pledge. They understand that workfare is punitive and that it doesn’t help people find jobs.

Following the latest attacks from the government on unemployed people, in which the Tories are promising to cut benefits and roll out more of the harsh schemes like the ones Groundwork provides, we need to show those involved in workfare just how unacceptable it is.

A lot of green charities and recycling companies are involved in workfare schemes. The environment is a useful alibi for forcing people to work for free, because it makes it easy to claim that the work unemployed people are doing is for “community benefit” – which it is supposed to be, if the scheme is one that people can be directly forced to do, like CWP or Mandatory Work Activity.  This is why there’s so many environmental charities, city farms, and recycling firms on our list of workfare exploiters.

Workfare schemes cannot operate without charities that are willing to take on unpaid workers, but Groundwork’s involvement is deeper: they help organise the schemes as well. Groundwork say they recognise that Jobcentre Plus is enforcing a “stricter application…of conditions and sanctions”, but they continue to help to run this punitive system anyway. Let them know about the hardship and destitution that benefit sanctions are causing. Let them know that forcing people to work under threat of destitution for no pay is wrong.

Groundwork are on Twitter  @GroundworkUK and on Facebook here.

Or you could contact them through their website, or on the phone (0121 236 8565).  They have local branches throughout the UK.  To find contact details for the nearest one to you, look here.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

28 responses to “Take Action Against @GroundworkUK: No Grounds For Greenwashing Workfare

  1. with all the prisons closing, some one has to do the community labour that the inmates would normally do.

  2. Watching last nights Panorama was enough to bring tears to my eyes, the plight of the lower classes in the UK is truly shocking.
    It featured a guy who worked for a well known fast food outlet, that was not named for fear of him losing his job. These are not jobs, they are just a means of existence, no social life, no fun, just constant misery………
    Upon opening his cupboards and fridge to the reporters, he had hardly anything to live on. Just a few teabags, a couple of potatoes and a couple of tins.
    The guy had not eaten since the day before, not wanting to put a dent in his meagre rations, in fact he was awaiting his fortnightly wage to go into his account so he could access it and the lowly cycle of poverty desperation, start again………………….
    The whole episode reminded me of what we were shown of the Eastern Bloc countries some 20 years ago, accelerating backwards at a pace never seen before.
    If this is modern day Britain, the bastards from Westminster want to get off their fat arses and see beyond the rainbow and gold paving slabs of our metropolis, London.
    We are human beings being treated like animals, pets of the upper classes to mock and torture as they please.
    Walking up the main thoroughfare where i live, Scarborough, you can see by the way people are dressed that the very fabric of our once proud nation, is falling apart. Shops boarded up or for sale or let, not just the odd one, rows of them in places.
    It becomes apparent how poor we have become when you go on a short ferry ride to the likes of Belgium. Its people are all well dressed like they have just stepped out of an outfitters, the streets are clean and all the services are running promptly, to schedule.
    Our donkeys on our beaches are probably fed better than a lot of our poorest.

    The exploiters of our poverty, the likes of Tesco who were also featured on Panorama, and the fuckers named above, want blasting into the unknown…………

    They are like parasites that thrive on the backs of the downtrodden, extermination is the only way forward to stop us moving backwards……..

    • Another quote from Cassetteboy’s rap applies here:

      “We don’t care if you’re driven to despair,
      Don’t you DARE say it’s not fair!
      I’m not saying it’s not funny
      It is for me, I’ve got loads of money”


    We need benefit despite two incomes’ – Panorama special

    6 October 2014 Last updated at 13:57 BST

    Last year, 3.3 million households claimed tax credits, which top up the wages of people on low incomes.

    When they were introduced in the 1970s, they were claimed by just 71,000 people.

    Tax credits and other benefits for working families cost the Government £28bn a year.

    Richard Bilton meets the O’Harrow family in Wiltshire who say they could not get by without tax credits. Both work at Tesco.

  4. Landless Peasant

    If I were forced to work for Groundworks on one of their environmental projects I would be very concerned that I may inadvertently introduce invasive species onto land that they manage. There is Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam growing very close to my home and I wouldn’t want to tread any unexpectedly stuck to my boots or clothing or it may spread with disastrous and costly consequences. We wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

  5. Landless Peasant

    Tracy Emin can fuck off too. And her art is self-indulgent shite.

    • In case anyone missed her BBC interviews yesterday, Tracy Emin ‘came out’ as a Tory bitch!

      • I thought it was common knowledge she was in that Tory (Non-)Artist clique with Helena Bonham-Carter and, erm…well, there must be others, but you tend not to find too many right-wingers in any of the arts or creative pursuits. The ones you do find tend to be shite (Jeffrey Archer, Adolf Hitler, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, etc). It’s kind of a contradiction in terms, innit?

  6. Groundworks must have full time staff deleting comments,wonder if they paid? doubtful.

  7. Pingback: Take Action Against @GroundworkUK: No Grounds F...

  8. And all that Boneheads are Concerned about is the
    Football TV Pahlava and ” Celebrities ”

    The Mass of People are More Shallow than a Dried Up
    Puddle and more Herdlike over a Cliff than Sheep

  9. How can People ” Think Positive ” after 4 Years of the Con Dems ?

    They are Simply Delusional in this Land of Sweet Fine All Elections

  10. we just had our housing association spend somewhere near £160.000 on ‘greening our estate,£20,000 just on bird boxes built on the top of old cut in half telegraph poles,bird houses made from recycled tin cans,there’s about 6 of them,been up for over a year and no birds have moved in and nested in them,we have a lot of really old trees on our etsate,some have bird boxes,birds nest in those trees not the £20.000 bird boxes.
    What groundwork basically did was,cut off a side access road,place some massive pots in a line with young trees planted in them,planted some plant beds next to ground floor flats where they made narrow concrete paths.
    We could have done a better job for a lot less.
    They got the contract,avery lucrative,£160.000 contract,apart from maybe 2 or 3 people being paid a full time wage they used ‘volunteers’ probably sent from the job centre or we stop your jsa,then you even had some of the residents who moved here from some nice middle class place helping groundwork do the job.These peole buy there social housing flats then rent them out for 3 times the normal rent to fund their beatnik jaunts around the world,then they claim they are anti-capitalist,theyre sur doing well off the back of Thatchers right to buy.
    Meanwhile a load of people on the estate were having to go to the local soup kitchen run by nuns for a cheap hot meal cos they were unable to afford to eat due to sanctions,bedroom tax and the high cost of trying to heat and light their flats.
    £160.000 would have made a big difference to people with basically nothing.
    I really doubt the cost of the work cost that much,no chance from what i have seen,so where do you think most of that huge sum allocated to ‘greening’ the estate went?I do know it did not go to the people on my estate struggling to get by,wearing clothes that cost 20p from the local soup kitchen/food bank.
    It all stinks of greed,no way did they spend 100 and sixty thousand pounds on the work,i wonder who’s bank account a lot of that money went into,the housing association are as bent as Groundwork so it isn’t hard to think where it went.
    I thought slavery had been abolished but seeing big companies using free labour from the job centre clearley shows a new type of slavery is now being used.
    The sooner these rich Eton boys of the tory government are kicked into oblivion the better,still got my steel toe capped boots from when i was able to work,time i got them from out of the cupboard i think.

  11. surly this is against human rights-forced labour & against minumum wage?

  12. it is Charlie but the Eton Elite don’t recognise the human rights of the poor in this cuntry,the only rights they are interested in is the right for the rich to legally avoid paying tax like everyone else has to.
    Wait til they con the people with the the EU referendum,then any chance of human rights will be gone forever,they have unfinished buisness started by Thatcher that we will all bear in the coming years,if i had the money i’d leave this country thats a graveyard of post industrial poverty.

    • your right.but new labour full of the same!. like chukra uma- next leader(being mentored by blair& millionaire claimed for paperclips & glue on expenses!)tony blair admits he admires maggie,he carried on her work.lord frued(owner of 2 mansions brought in bedroom tax!) reckons disabled people only worth £2 & people on benefits should be banned from foodbanks!. him osbourne and worse twat ids- on a crusade against the poor. ringfence forgien aid-wtf- charity begins at home!.i be with you on first plane out if won lotto-what happened to great britian?.

  13. it got dismantled by the rich and their corporate friends in high places,we could still be a country that manufactures but why pay the scum on the bottom rungs of the ladder a decent living wage when you can get someone in a faraway country to do it for pennies or use the out of work here to do it for nothing or face losing their jsa,we are still a very wealthy country but the wealth is kept by the tiny number of people who are ruining the lives of the majority of us.
    We need a new peoples party if we are going to make a change from within,its already starting at grass roots levels,not just in the uk but all over the world people have had enough of being constantly poor Remember,we are many they are few.
    Labour has failed the poor,and if they or whoever gets elected at the next election will just carry on with the same old crap we have to bear the brunt of.

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