Birmingham: Boycott Workfare National Week of Action Picket Report ~ End Slave Labour At Poundland

Brum against the cuts


by Birmingham Against The Cuts | March 24, 2013 · 11:24 am 


Picketting PoundlandAs part of the Boycott Workfare week of action, a picket was held outside Poundland on Corporation Street in the cold and snow yesterday. We joined West Midlands SolFed, Boycott Workfare and Communities Against The Cuts to continue the campaign to end forced unpaid work for unemployed and disabled people in the UK.


Poundland take part in the Work Experience Scheme, which sees 18-24 year olds work unpaid in their shops. This is what happened to Cait Reilly who took the government to court as she was made to leave a voluntary role in a museum to work in Poundland. Cait, along with Jamie Wilson who was sent on the Community Action Programme, won their case against the government, a verdict that should have seen £130m of sanctions returned to people on some of the workfare schemes, except that last week the government, with no opposition from Labour, retroactively changed the law so they did nothing illegal, in order to avoid repaying this money.

March 23rd Demo Birmingham (2)Companies hide behind the technically voluntary nature of the Work Experience Scheme, but some sanctions remain and if you turn it down, this can and is used as a reason to send you on the not even pretending to be voluntary Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

The taxpayer is giving a steady supply of free workers to companies like Poundland and Debenhams. However, public pressure can come to bear, as Superdrug and Shoezone have pulled out in recent weeks. Charities like Sue Ryder and British Red Cross have recently left workfare schemes, and the DWP are worried that they cannot find enough placements, despite the continued support and involvement in workfare by charities like the Salvation Army and YMCA.

March 23rd Demo Birmingham (1)We are calling for the end of workfare for three simple reasons:

Workfare is unfairNone of the workfare schemes increase the number of people finding a job.

Workfare threatens paid work – A steady supply of free labour? Of course it threatens paid jobs and hours.

Workfare increases unemployment – There is no job creation mechanism in workfare, all it can do is change who gets a job from one person to another. But by taking away paid hours and jobs, it increases the number of people looking for work.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

3 thoughts on “Birmingham: Boycott Workfare National Week of Action Picket Report ~ End Slave Labour At Poundland

  1. Bluesky says:

    some info for all on workfare schemes= if your able bodied and end up on one of these schemes DWP pay that company £400 for taking you on, when the company places you with another company(work placement) they get a further £1,200 and if you stay there for up to 6months they get a further £5000 total=£6,600. But if your disabled they get £600 when your refered by jobcentre+ if then they place you with another company (voluntery work) they get paid a further £3,500, and if your there in that voluntery work for 3 months they get a further £9,600. total paid by DWP=£13,100.
    this is why these companys are so quick to take people on for nothing= slave labour..think how many full time employed people have lost their jobs becouse they can save money(and make money) by taking on jobcentre + referals… makes me sick. I even brought this up with my MP and he told me ‘It doesn’t work that way, they only get paid if people have been in sustainable employment for 2 years, i never ask a question unless i know the answer, My MP is either stupid or belives the rubbish that his party keeps shoving into the media etc…….

  2. Humanity2012 says:

    Good to See and Hear that there are People in Birmingham who are Not Brainwashed
    Zombies unlike other Parts of the UK to put it Accurately because a Lot of People in
    this Country are like Brainwashed Zombies

    Scrap Workfare and All Oppression of the Poor

    Challenge the Propaganda of the Regime Media as Well as Boycott the Regime Media
    which is Better than being a Zombie Brainwashed by the Regime Media

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