Unemployment and Workfare: The Anger Grows.
From the Brighton Benefits Campaign.
Boycott Workfare reports on the succesful Week of Action Against Workfare.
A “leaving party” for workfare provider A4e. There
When: 7th July – 14th July
Join the national week of action against workfare!
The Queens Jubilee has seen the disgrace of exploiting the unemployed through workfare. The ‘ethical’ company Holland & Barrett who are due to be signed up to 1100 workfare places will receive its deserved focus of this week of action. Up and down the country groups will been taking action against workfare providers – A4E, Maximus, Reed etc… including those who are using workfare to replace paid work – Tesco, the Works, Asda, Shoe Zone etc…
In Ipswich we have been following up reports that a local council has been using unpaid unemployed people.
We will publish information when we are sure of our facts.
There is an on-going controversy on this:
Thanks to all who made calls, sent tweets, and posted Facebook messages yesterday. Efforts were well worth it leading to an afternoon statement from Scope as seen here. If not already busy tweeting, its release caused a further twitter flurry, annoyed as many were that a sincere concern opposing forced placements had been translated back as an anti-volunteering sentiment. Highly questionable too is Scope’s defence of “a robust placement agreement” when the charity is cited in a 12 June, DWP press release (see case study 1) as facilitating Mandatory Work Activity placements.
Friday’s action is a return to yesterday’s, and we are asking that those who were unable to make a call, tweet, or send a Facebook message to do so today – keeping up the pressure. Or maybe Scope’s reply has made some want to call again?
Complaints: 0808 800 3333
(freephone on landline)
Head Office (ask for retail dept.): 020 7619 7100
This is happening as well: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.
NO TO SLAVE LABOUR
90-93 Princes Strreet
Edinburgh EH2 2ER
12 noon Sat 14 July
UK-wide week of action against workfare
Targetting Primark due to their large-scale use of “work-for-your-benefits” schemes across the UK
Meanwhile The Void publishes one of its best-ever posts.
Is Workfare Behind the G4S Olympics Farce?
G4S are one of the largest companies involved in the Government’s flagship Work Programme, the scheme currently failing miserably at helping long term unemployed people find work.
Participants on the Work Programme can be sent on unpaid work for a period of up to six months. It is unclear whether those who refuse still face benefit sanctions as the Government have repeatedly changed the rules, plunging the scheme into confusion. It is also not possible to find out where people are being sent on workfare as part of the Work Programme as the Government is refuses to answer Freedom of Information requests on the subject.
What is abundantly clear is that G4S have access to thousands of unemployed people, and the power to mandate them to do almost anything they choose. Alongside this G4S had a separate contract to recruit and train thousands of Olympics Security Guards.
Now it’s clear that G4S had a business opportunity here. G4S can use the funding they receive on the Olympics contract to train people on the Work Programme. Should any of the people on the Olympic contract get jobs, then G4S get to claim Job Outcome fees on their Work Programme contract. This is known as a double fund. Two contracts to do what appear to be different things, merged into one with huge savings for the company involved.
The other lucrative opportunity for G4S is to use unpaid workers as Olympic Security Guards, much in the way Close Protection did recently at the Queen’s Jubilee.
Is it possible that G4S panicked after the Jubilee story broke plunging their plans for an unpaid Olympics workforce into chaos?
We may never find out. Chris Grayling, the minister in charge of the Work Programme, is unfortunately prone to lying through his teeth. But it reveals the dangers of private sector companies handed huge and diverse contracts to carry out public services, whether they be for stewarding and securing the Olympics or helping people get jobs.
Read the rest here.