With unemployment at a 20 year high, and job vacancies at a 20 year low, it is time to call for the suspension of Workfare/Work Programmes until unemployment falls below 1.5million.
Only then can the government morally claim that there are unfilled jobs that some of the long term unemployed may be shirking.
No worker should ever be asked/compelled to work for a profit making company without being paid a minimum wage.
Until then, and especially in these economic conditions, the current pressures on our unemployed are disgusting and go against their basic human rights.
When New Labour introduced workfare style schemes in 2008 there was, rightly, an outcryamong Labour MPs. In response, 33 Labour MPs signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons condemning the introduction of workfare.
The motion was tabled by JohnMacDonnell MP (see here).
In 2012, when similar outrage erupted over the A4E scandal that saw the chief executive make millions in profits while unpaid benefit recipients were forced to work for no wage, Labour MPs reacted again.
Once more, an EDM was commenced that attracted the signatures of 32 Labour MPs which included some of the earlier signatures but also new 2010 Labour MPs such as Ian Mearns MP.
As well as the signatures above, there have been other Labour MPs who have spoken out to condemn the Work Programme, in general, and called for the government to pay participants a minimum wage for taking part.
Teresa Pearce MP (@TPearce003) even offered to take a case to court, pro bono, for any forced work programme participant who wished to have their case heard in a court.
Labour Left’s Grahame Morris MP (@GrahameMorris) campaigned for months against the policy and also raised it with Chris Grayling in the House of Commons but received no substantive response.
Today, after the scandal that has erupted at the Jubilee last night where unpaid workfare participants were bussed in to cover security at the Jubilee, and then forced to spend thenight sleeping under a bridge, more MPs have spoken out.
Labour MPs @IanLaveryMP, Barbara Keely, Kerry McCarthy and Bill Esterson have all condemned as sickening the treatment of unpaid workers at the Jubilee event.
Ed, given that more than 50 honourable Labour MPs listed above have spent in some cases the last 5 years condemning the practice of companies making profit on the back of unpaid workers, the time has come for you to respond.
Ed, if you are serious about responsible capitalism, then you must surely know that this practice irresponsible. Your own party are crying out for an alternative policy in getting the long term unemployed back to work.
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