Boycott Workfare action in Holloway – Sat 8 Dec, 11am

December 7, 2012

Join North London Solidarity Federation in targeting businesses in Holloway against workfare in support of the National Week of Action called by Boycott Workfare, starting this Saturday the 8th.

Meet at Superdrug on Seven Sisters Road – 11am sharp and we move on from there.

Nearest tube: Arsenal or Holloway Road.


More on Workfare:

Workfare is a government scheme in which unemployed people are bullied into working for their Jobseekers’ Allowance benefits. People on the Workfare scheme are forced to stack shelves for up to 30 hours a week, working out to an hourly wage of just £1.60.

In response to a growing movement of opposition to the Workfare scheme, a number of companies have quit the programme, while the government has released a steady stream of untruths.

To clarify a couple of points:

-Workfare is NOT voluntary: people on the programme are often only given one week to ‘twist or stick’. If they leave their placement then they face punishment via benefit sanction, as well as a stern rebuke from their Jobcentre Advisor.

-Workfare does NOT get people into jobs. A recent government report found that a shocking 3.5% of Workfarers actually find paid employment (and what percentage of those would have found work anyway?). Only around 49% of Workfarers go off of benefits (and what percentage of that is due to Jobcentre sanction?), and of those who go through the programme without finding work, there is actually an increased likelihood that they will return to benefits. The Employment Secretrary responded to this news by announcing £5m of extra funding for the scheme, demonstrating that Workfare is punishment for the unemployed, rather than an attempt to help them.

-People on Workfare do NOT gain valuable experience which helps them in the job market. Most of them end up stacking shelves in retail outlets, or working for free in charity shops.

-Workfare is NOT just an issue for unemployed people; in fact, it affects ALL of us. If the government and bosses are able to get away with paying just £1.60/hr, what will that mean for people working for a regular wage? What does that mean for the national minimum wage of £6.08/hr? And the Workfare placements are instead REAL vacancies, taking away genuine jobs from the working class.

Links: Facebook event ¦ SolFed factsheet ¦ Boycott Workfare website

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