Nationwide Week of Action Against Workfare: Stop exploiting the unemployed and sick! Take action Saturday 8 December 2012



12 noon onwards Kirkgate shopping centre, foot of Leith Walk, Edinburgh

Organised by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty and supported by Greater Leith Against the Cuts, North Edinburgh Fights Back and other groups….


Many companies and charities have pulled out of the government’s workfare schemes when met with pickets and direct action that put these exploitative schemes in the spotlight.

But charities including British Heart Foundation and Barnardos and companies like Superdrug , Shoe Zone and Poundland are still participating in schemes which force the unemployed to “work for their benefits”.  That’s why Boycott Workfare network are calling A Week of Action against Workfare, focusing especially on the charities involved.  Demos are happening all round Britain and….

You are urged to join the action this Saturday!

Unemployed? Stand up against this exploitation: why should you work for nothing to profit the rich?

In work?  Workfare attacks your wages and conditions, you could be sacked and replaced by workfare conscripts. 

Care about human rights and dignity? Join us. 

Our anti workfare actions are part of the global resistance to the austerity being imposed by ruling classes everywhere.

Read on for more info….


On Monday 3 December the government introduced new rules giving workfare providers the power to force many sick and disabled claimants to work for nothing – on indefinite work placements. Despite these Employment and Support Allowance claimants having been found unfit for paid work, they can now be forced to work for nothing! The new measure applies to many in the “Work Related Activity Group” on ESA.

Are we going to let them get away with this?


We know there is plenty of work needing to be done: houses and schools to be built, the sick and the elderly in need of care, etc. But if the rich cant  make profit out of such work, it doesn’t get done and workers are made unemployed. They spin the lie that we choose to live on poverty level benefits to force us into unpaid work . And  that unpaid work is an attack on all workers’ wages as they seek to turn us into a low wage economy to increase their profits and pay for the crisis they created.


Workfare helps hide swingeing cuts to support for charities by central government.

Real jobs that charity donors have paid to have carried out are forced onto the unemployed.

Many veteran volunteers have left British Heart Foundation in disgust as charity shops are swamped with unhappy, unwilling conscripts.  Workfare completely contradicts the voluntary ethos such charities are supposed to uphold, and have relied on, for goodwill within communities for decades.

A claimant told us how his benefits were threatened after he left a Work Programme placement at BHF – where he was treated appallingly –  and declined a placement at Barnardos.  Only the intervention of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty prevented him being left penniless.

Many charities are losing skilled volunteers – as they are being forced to instead do meaningless workfare at companies and even other charities!  The unemployed lose real skill-learning opportunities to be compelled to stack shelves.


Since our latest actions were announced British Heart Foundation have announced they are “moving away” from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.  Further pressure has led their spokeswoman to declare “I can confirm that BHF are moving away from schemes that may involve sanctions and this does include the Work Programme as well as Mandatory Workplace Activity.” This is very encouraging and we appear to be on the brink of a significant victory – but we need to keep up the pressure till they have actually WITHDRAWN from all workfare schemes. We have questioned the manager of the Kirkgate BHF shop but she has refused to say whether they still have workfare conscripts in that store.

We are maintaining our gathering point at the Kirkgate, which regretfully contains several firms who use workfare nationally, including Shoe Zone, Poundland and Superdrug – the last of which is the target for the Glasgow and Brighton demos.

Our message is simple:  If you exploit us, we will shut you down!


Details of actions round Britain, including Glasgow and Dundee

Facebook event for Edinburgh demo



7 thoughts on “Nationwide Week of Action Against Workfare: Stop exploiting the unemployed and sick! Take action Saturday 8 December 2012

  1. jeffery davies says:

    its going back to the 1700s where this lots heads and hearts are slavery when out but not to our goverment um wonder whot firms they sit on the board of use this yes they are the social scroungers and they got a check to call us one nah jeff3

  2. K Peake says:

    The system is rigged. The extraordinarily privileged and expensively educated 7% keep control and everyone else down by occupying 50% of the senior, decision-making roles in Westminster and Whitehall. The more kindly among them need a nudge to give a sh** about the failing country they are fortunate enough to own and run. Sign the petition:

    The DWP once accommodated braincells and was encouraging employers to make it physically and environmentally possible for disabled people to work with them, as well as to have the odd nervous breakdown, hospital appointment and collapse without being booted back onto welfare again. They called this excellent scheme “Positive About Disabled People”. To sign up you needed only to be capable of acknowledging that health conditions existed and willing to accommodate them.

    However, it works, which is terribly confusing and threatening, and it requires skilful management, so it was abandoned in favour of stigma, persecution, slave labour, genocide and a fight to the death to become an undeveloped nation (

    Yet they managed to sell the idea to 250 employers before wandering off in the direction of the Nuremberg rally, and here are those 250 employers willing to have any of the 1.3 million disabled jobseekers among us sit alongside them in their offices and communicate with them over the internet (this is more than the brain-dead DWP or Work Programme will tell you so be sure to share this list of disabled-friendly employers):

    Notice the only large media outfit on the list is Channel 4. Notice the complete absence of the press who claim we are work-shy cheats but don’t and won’t or haven’t thought to, if you want to be nice about it, employ us themselves. They have held this position passionately for years now, never thinking to so much as glance over their offices or employment practises or the history of disability despite several decades worth of research available to them at the click of a button and despite obviously not having any personal experience to draw from or any imagination or many brain cells and despite claiming to be journalists.

    The UK press are charlatans at play which is to be pleasant about them. The fact that their stupid, incoherent, juvenile and unpleasant “position” continues to hold water tells you all you need to know about most of them and why it is deadly necessary for us all that they are made to be responsible. This would be nothing at all to ask any decent person.

  3. Phillip Dudd says:

    Id love to stay on here reading,
    but i have to get back to the other open google tab,
    Universal Job Match,
    it apparently has jobs on it.
    i wanted to be a public servant, but the government don’t serve,
    a big majority of the public
    and are against slavery anyway,
    although the new long term unemployment scheme seems like slavery,
    i should imagine it will be somebody elses idea,
    its not hard,
    to not contradict,
    just tell the truth
    or dont say anything.

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