Home > Benefits, Call for Participation, Workfare > Nationwide Week of Action Against Workfare: Stop exploiting the unemployed and sick! Take action Saturday 8 December 2012

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

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



www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk ecap@lists.riseup.net


  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: