Stop workfare on Homes for Haringey estates – protest Wed 10 Apr, 1pm, Wood Green

April 8, 2013

Homes for Haringey is the borough’s arms-length management organisation, set up to manage council housing. Recently, we have found out that local unemployed people are being forced to work on their estates for no pay and with no workplace rights.

Please come and support a lunchtime protest
this Wednesday 10th April, 1pm
at the Homes for Haringey offices in Wood Green
Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, N22 7TR (2 mins from Wood Green tube)

Groundwork, a national registered charity working in partnership with Haringey Council, has been using the Government’s workfare scheme to maintain some Homes For Haringey estate gardens. Job seekers have been sanctioned for refusing to work for no pay under the Groundwork workfare scheme, losing all entitlement to benefits for several weeks.

Two years ago, a third of parks department gardeners were made redundant. They used to maintain all the Council estate gardens.  It is unacceptable that these paid jobs are now being replaced with unpaid labour.  People should be paid at least a living wage for the job they are asked to do.  Poverty levels are already very high in Tottenham, being forced to work for no pay just makes things worse. Why should people be forced to work for no pay?

The government has handed millions to private companies to administer these Workfare schemes, supposedly to save money by helping people to find jobs.  But the reality is:

– Workfare does NOT get people into jobs. A recent government report found that just 3.5% of people on Workfare actually find paid employment lasting more than 6 months (and many of those would have found work anyway).  The government then handed yet more money to scheme providers, which shows that Workfare is about driving down wages and subsidising the private sector.
– Workfare affects ALL of us. Workfare placements replace REAL vacancies, taking away genuine paid jobs, so forcing more people to rely on benefits.

Under workfare schemes unemployed people have to work for nothing or they face sanctions meaning loss of ALL benefits!  There is a growing movement of opposition to the Workfare scheme, and in response a number of companies have quit the programme. 

Homes for Haringey is wholly owned by Haringey Council to manage its housing.  The Council should put an immediate stop to the use of Workfare in the borough. 

Workfare is immoral and unjust.

Organised by North London Solidarity Federation (e:; t: 07811017091) and Haringey Solidarity Group (e:; t: 0845 223 5270)

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