Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Workfare rebellion begins!! More jobseekers reject slave labour

with 15 comments

More jobseekers are pursuing judicial reviews against the Government in regards to its workfare schemes.

Cait Reilly joins others such as Jonathan Shaw, challenging the Governments Section 17A workfare schemes.

Cait Reilly said she risked losing her benefits if she refused to work for free stacking shelves in Poundland

The Work Programme could be the next to collapse… (if it doesn’t go due to financial difficulties)

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Written by Universal Jobmatch

December 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

15 Responses

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  1. Thats an old programme that we have made redundant the work programme is here to stay and u slaves will do as we and the work programme tel u to do as we hold the trump cards ie sanctions so just keep working for free slaves ha ha ha ha fools

    Dwp whistle blower

    December 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    • Dwp whistle blower,

      I guess your job is one public sector job nobody would be against being axed.

      ariversideview

      December 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  2. […] https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/workfare-rebellion-begins-more-jobseekers-reject-s… This news is worth spreading..StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterFacebookEmailLinkedInPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. By Dawn Willis • Posted in Mental Health News, Interesting Stuff… 0 […]

  3. Good on them

  4. Royal Mail Christmas workers complain of poor treatment

    Temporary postal workers accuse in-house employment agency of administrative failures

    Unemployed people who thought they had secured precious paid employment as temporary postal workers in the runup to Christmas have been turned away from sorting offices due to administrative failures by Royal Mail’s in-house staffing agency, the Guardian can reveal.

    The Guardian has received around 100 complaints from candidates for Royal Mail Christmas jobs in many parts of the country who are angry about how their applications have been processed and who claim information relating to starting dates and times has been poorly relayed to them.

    The criticism is mostly directed at Angard Staffing Solutions, an in-house employment agency owned by Royal Mail and part-managed by Reed Specialist Recruitment, which was set up earlier this year to handle the postal service’s temporary workforce requirements.

    Many applicants claimed they had been kept in the dark about the status of their applications, and had experienced difficulties getting through to Angard to gain any information. Royal Mail admitted that in some areas, Angard had struggled to cope with “exceptionally large” numbers of applications. “We apologise to anyone who found it difficult to contact us,” a spokesman said.

    Royal Mail pointed out it had received 110,000 applications for 18,000 temporary roles this Christmas. A spokesman said: “We are, of course, very sorry if anyone feels the recruitment process has not met the high standards Royal Mail always seek to achieve. We are very confident that would be the view of a very small minority. If anyone feels they have not been treated fairly, we would welcome hearing from them.”

    One complaint – typical of many received – involved a worker arriving at a Birmingham sorting office for his first shift at the appointed time, only to be turned away because he was not on the “signing-in” list.

    “There were about 35-40 of us in the same situation,” he claims. “I was told to contact Angard. I was unsuccessful in getting through on the telephone on various numbers so sent an email, which was never replied to. The official 0845 contact number played a recorded message stating that due to the volume of calls, it had been disabled.”

    Some of those contacting the Guardian reported that their security photo ID, which is now essential to gain access to sorting offices, was not ready by the time they were due to start work. One worker describes an incident at the Swindon sorting office: “I reported to the depot at 2pm along with around 60 other people, and the process of issuing ID badges began. At the end of this process at least half of those present had not received badges and we were told it was believed the remainder had been sent to the wrong depot.

    “We were sent to work in another building pending the arrival of our badges – needless to say they never arrived. At the end of the shift, those of us without badges (the majority I would say) were laid off and given a number for Angard to query about the status of our security clearance – this was answered by a recorded message saying that it was impossible to take calls due to volume.”

    Royal Mail’s spokesman admitted that there had been difficulties “in a small number of cases” but that the company was “very confident the reports outlined affected a minority of people and were very exceptional”.

    “Nonetheless … we apologise to any individuals concerned,” he said.

    Others complain of being given less than 24 hours’ notice of start dates and times, and having dates and locations switched at short notice. “I got a call at 11am telling me to report for work at 6am the following morning,” said one applicant. “I was happy I’d got the job, but then the caller told me the location had changed from Coventry to Nuneaton.”

    Royal Mail’s spokesman said: “In the huge majority of cases, new joiners were given at least a week’s notice before they were due to begin work, and in many cases it was several weeks. However, a small number of the people who had accepted an offer of a job did not turn up. It meant we had to fill some vacancies very quickly. The offers we made, however, did make it clear to people that we may have to make changes at short notice. This was because of operational requirements – for example, if there were unexpected increases in mail volumes.”

    Some workers who have been taken on for the Christmas season by Royal Mail claim they have experienced delays with payment of wages.

    A temporary worker at the Southampton depot told the Guardian he had contacted Angard with an inquiry about wages and was told the agency did not possess his bank details, despite having provided them to Angard on paper at the registration stage. He was asked to resupply his details over the phone. Royal Mail said its initial investigations suggested this was “not true”, but said it would look into the claims more closely.

    Dave Ward, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, which represents permanent postal workers, said it had also received similar complaints and urged agency workers at Royal Mail to join the union so it could help protect their pay and conditions.

    “This is the first year that agency workers have been brought in using the Angard agency and we’ve heard a few cases and complaints which are worrying,” Ward said. “Some of the worse ones involve people being told they’ve got a job and then turned away when they show up to start their shift. If people then lose out on benefit payments because they should be earning a salary, that will have a major impact on them and their families in the runup to Christmas.

    “With unemployment so high, the volume of applicants this year has been huge, but if you’re dealing with people’s employment you should do everything possible to treat them fairly. Agency workers are often vulnerable, so raising their hopes of earning Christmas money and crushing them by turning them away is awful.”

    Full article here .

    The Guardian

    December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    • From the MSE forums:

      “Royal Mail / Angard No Pay
      My So has a temp job for Christmas at the royal mail with angard staffing (RM in-house agency). A lot have not been paid and if they have it’s been incorrect.

      My SO should of been paid today but as it stand he hasn’t, I know looking at the royal mail chat that the company is fobbing people off, the management seem to be saying anything to keep them from walking.

      My question is, he hasn’t been paid as per contract and in our eyes they are in breach of it, he is only suppose to work until Christmas eve. I think he shouldn’t work if he hasn’t been paid and re-claim JSA, does anyone know if he would be santioned if he did leave?, as they are the ones who are in breach of the contract, FYI some workers have not been paid for three and four weeks, my SO just the two but my thought is why turn it into three! ”

      Read the full thread here .

      MSE

      December 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      • No pay for Royal Mail casual Christmas staff

        Hundreds of temporary Royal Mail workers – taken on to cover the Christmas rush – have been protesting around the country over unpaid wages.

        Hundreds of temporary Royal Mail staff are furious after failing to get their Christmas wages. In some parts of the country they’ve walked off the job in protest.

        The Royal Mail has apologised, insisting that “firm action” was being taken – including giving staff who had not received their wages a voucher, which they could exchange for cash.

        But local newspapers across the country have highlighted the anger and frustration of temporary workers who feel they would have been better off on the dole. One man, Royston Allcock, told the Birmingham Evening Mail: “I have a wife and four children and I was relying on the money to buy presents, do some Christmas shopping… People have done the work and need the money”.

        No wages for Christmas

        Other staff in Wolverhampton said they had no wages since 29 November – many of them venting their complaints online.

        Most temporary post office staff are employed through an in-house agency, Angard Staffing Solutions, owned by Royal Mail and part-managed by Reed Specialist Solutions, although other agencies are also supplying Christmas staff.

        But some workers claim the management change is the main problem. One man told the Lancashire Evening Post that things had been fine until the agency took over.

        “This year it has been chaos and no-one has any idea of when they will get paid.” he claimed. “One worker has only 65p in his account and… is really struggling. The whole thing is a shambles.”

        The Communication Workers Union says it has had complaints from people around the country about issues involving Angard. General Secretary Dave Ward said that while Christmas deliveries and collections were going well, “a small group of people are being treated poorly by Angard and that’s unacceptable.

        “We expressed serious concerns about this agency right back in September, but Royal Mail assured us they had full confidence in them – it seems this confidence may have been misplaced.”

        Royal Mail spokesman Nick Martens said: “The small minority of our temporary workers who were regrettably not paid on time or by the correct amount last week were paid yesterday.

        “The vast majority of our temporary Christmas workers were paid on time last week. Royal Mail apologises for any difficulties caused to the minority who did not receive their pay last week.

        “We have taken action in every single case that we are aware of to ensure a payment is being made. We are doing this by issuing a voucher which can be cashed at any Post Office branch. Our Christmas workers are very important to us.”

        No pay for Royal Mail casual Christmas staff

        Channel 4 News

        December 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm

  5. what’s going on at royal mail at the moment is an absolute scandal. It reached a point now where thousands of people are simply not getting paid for the work they’ve done. This is contrary to royal mail who saying only a minority are affected . Poeple all over the country are affected

    The recruitment process was a debacle as well. i along with many other were given job offers which angard/royal mail reneged on. When they did eventually contact me to start work I got to the depot and was turned away because I didn’t have safety shoes. I was told to buy them myself and return the next day! They wouldn’t provide them for me nor commit to reimburse the cost

    Samuel L Jackson

    December 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    • It’s a scam. Royal Mail/Angard had no intention of paying these temporary staff from the outset. The whole Angard “debacle/mismanagement/ineptitude” nonsense is just a cover. They are just hoping that these poor, mistreated, exploited people are going to run out of steam an give up. It is nothing short of criminal. Knowing how utterly evil the DWP is I expect a lot of innocent jobseekers will be sanctioned over this. Tell you what though some managers will be in line for a nice little bonus 🙂

      Royal Mail Insider

      December 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      • I know somebody here who got this Christmas job.

        With this Angard agency they’ve already had a paycut of up to £40 a week compared to the year before and the way they’re treated is rubbish.

        There are people in Ipswich who’ve not been paid – he told me about this about ten days ago.

        Andrew Coates

        December 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      • Employers are infamous for pulling this sort of trick and it is becoming all too common these days – even the Royal Mail are at it now. I can hear the Royal Mail free workers being told something like: “Your money will be in the bank by Christmas”, but which Christmas? they don’t say 🙂

        Screwed Over

        December 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  6. MSPs vote to reject welfare bill

    The Scottish Parliament has refused to rubber-stamp controversial benefit changes linked to Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reform programme.

    It is the first time Holyrood has taken such a position on Westminster legislation, and it followed an appeal by Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon for MSPs to take a stand.

    She conceded that the move – prompted by the proposal for universal credit and personal independence payments – will not stop the Welfare Reform Bill being passed at Westminster.

    But it will lead to the Scottish Parliament agreeing its own legislation dealing with areas where the Bill affects devolved issues, including free school meals and the blue badge scheme for disabled drivers.

    Scottish Labour backed the SNP’s call to refuse the necessary Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) on part of the Bill, voting this afternoon on a motion to reject it by 100 votes in favour to 18 against.

    But the move was criticised by Tory and Liberal Democrat MSPs who defended their coalition colleagues south of the border.

    Ms Sturgeon said: “This will be the first refusal of legislative consent in the lifetime of this Parliament.

    “The fact that it’s not a blanket refusal shows that we don’t take it lightly.

    “But it is right that we in this Parliament stand up for the most vulnerable in our society.”

    She argued that Westminster should be able to legislate on areas of the Bill covering data-sharing, industrial injuries disablement benefit and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

    Ms Sturgeon, who is also Deputy First Minister, said she supports efforts to simplify the benefits system.

    But she said measures put forward by Mr Duncan Smith amount to cost-cutting.

    She said: “We recognise that the welfare system is broken and needs to be fixed, but we will not endorse proposals that seek to fix it at the expense of some of our most vulnerable people.”

    She said benefits receipts in Scotland would be reduced by £2.5 billion by 2015, with £1 billion coming from disabled people and their families.

    Ms Sturgeon accepted that welfare reform is an area of responsibility held by Westminster, not the Scottish Parliament.

    But she added: “Though these reforms are not of our making, we and the people of Scotland will be paying the price of them for a very long time to come.”

    Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the UK Government’s reforms were the “single most significant attack” on the welfare state in her lifetime.

    “The starting point for this reform is not about fairness or supporting people back into work – it is purely about saving money, often from the most vulnerable people in our communities,” she said.

    But she added that there are also challenges for the SNP administration in Edinburgh, adding: “They have known about the UK Government’s intentions with the Welfare Reform Bill for almost a year, yet even the most basic questions about what the Scottish Government will do have yet to be answered.”

    Scottish Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said the SNP and Labour at Holyrood had brought forward a “hollow blank canvas of lurid rhetoric”.

    He added: “Nothing we do today will alter the course of the UK Welfare Reform Bill, and to suggest otherwise is to deceive those affected and to give quite false expectations to those whose circumstances will change.”

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur said: “At best, it seems to be a gesture, but one with potentially serious consequences.”

    A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “We are pleased that the Scottish Government recognises the welfare system needs urgent reform so it’s fair, simpler and that work always pays.

    “These reforms will end the cycle of generations of Scots living a life on benefits whilst ensuring that those people who need our help and support get it unconditionally. When one in five Scottish households is workless, something fundamental needs to change.”

    PA

    MSPs vote to reject welfare bill

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/msps-vote-to-reject-welfare-bill-6280629.html

    The Independent

    December 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

  7. MSPs withhold consent from UK Welfare Reform Bill

    MSPs have formally protested against changes to the UK benefits system, which some claim will see cuts in payments to the most vulnerable.

    SNP and Labour members of the Scottish Parliament took the unprecedented step of voting against a Westminster “consent” motion.

    Holyrood cannot stop Westminster changing the welfare benefits system.

    But the UK government wanted Holyrood to allow it to change the law so its reforms would fit the Scottish system.

    The UK government said the Welfare Reform Bill would save billions of pounds by replacing Disability Living Allowance with a personal independence payment and replacing a range of other benefits with a single universal credit.

    But these changes will have a knock-on effect for devolved services such as social care and devolved entitlements such as free school meals.

    MSPs voted to turn down Westminster’s consent request in favour of making the necessary legal changes themselves.

    It is the first time Holyrood has refused Westminster legislative consent.

    Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the changes to welfare proposed by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition at Westminster would result in damaging cuts to benefits for some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland.

    The UK government denied it was targeting the disabled and vulnerable.

    It said the changes under the bill, due to come into effect in 2013, would save £7bn in welfare spending and encourage people currently on benefits to go out and find a job.

    It has proposed moving to a single universal credit from 2013, to be paid to people both in and out of work.

    The bill replaces child tax credit, working tax credit, housing benefit and income support, among others – but critics argue many in need of vital support will be worse off.

    SNP and Labour MSPs voted 100 to 18 to refuse to back the necessary legislative consent motion on parts of the UK government’s Welfare Reform Bill where the Scottish Parliament has legislative competence.

    The UK motion included the introduction of universal credit and personal independence payments.

    The Scottish government will now need to bring forward its own legislation to ensure policies tied to the UK benefits system continue to operate in Scotland.

    Ms Sturgeon said: “We recognise the welfare system is broken and needs to be fixed, but not at the expense of our most vulnerable people.

    “Put simply, the Scottish government supports a welfare system that is simpler, makes work pay and lifts people out of poverty, however, this approach is being fundamentally undermined by the UK government’s deep and damaging cuts to benefits and services that will impact on some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland.

    “We have put on the record time and time again our long-standing concerns about the lack of detail around key elements of the bill, which will have serious implications for devolved policies and services.”

    Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the UK reforms were the single most significant attack on the welfare state in her lifetime.

    “The starting point for this reform is not about fairness or supporting people back into work, it is purely about saving money, often from the most vulnerable people in our communities,” she said.

    “And, in Scotland, this amounts to a cut of £2bn, which will have a direct impact on household spend and economic growth.”

    But Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said the SNP and Labour had brought forward a “hollow blank canvas of lurid rhetoric”.

    He said the creation of universal credit would “transform the lives of millions for the better”, adding: “Nothing we do today will alter the course of the UK Welfare Reform Bill, and to suggest otherwise is to deceive those affected and to give quite false expectations to those whose circumstances will change.”

    And Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur said refusing consent would harm “the interests of many that those who advocate such a course profess to be defending”.

    He said: “At best, it seems to be a gesture, but one with potentially serious consequences.”

    MSPs had previously heard concerns that the Welfare Reform Bill would increase pressure on homelessness and social care services and force disabled people to move home.

    Children’s groups also claimed it could plunge between 50,000 to 100,000 youngsters into poverty.

    Martin Sime, chief executive of the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, said: “SCVO has always accepted that some welfare reform is necessary and welcome, but it is disappointing that the Westminster government has not chosen to make changes to reflect the very real and deep concern expressed about the consequences of their proposals for the most vulnerable members of our society.”

    Bill Scott, of disability organisation Inclusion Scotland, added: “Even at this eleventh hour, we hope that the UK government might re-discover its conscience and halt reforms which will impoverish and severely limit the independence of tens of thousands of disabled people.”

    A spokeswoman for the UK Department for Work and Pensions said: “We are pleased that the Scottish government recognises the welfare system needs urgent reform so it’s fair, simpler and that work always pays.

    “These reforms will end the cycle of generations of Scots living a life on benefits whilst ensuring that those people who need our help and support get it unconditionally.

    “When one in five Scottish households is workless, something fundamental needs to change.”

    Despite the opposition, MSPs are understood to support other aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill, under the legislative consent motion, including changes to data sharing, industrial injuries benefits and a new commission on social mobility and child poverty.

    The Scottish Parliament also unanimously backed the creation of a new committee dealing with the issue of welfare.

    MSPs withhold consent from UK Welfare Reform Bill

    BBC

    December 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm

  8. immigrate to canada western canada needs workers

    gail

    January 12, 2012 at 6:18 am


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