Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

How Do We Break Workfare: National Conference Saturday 26 May‏.

with 10 comments

Dear Friends

Under the guise of ‘helping the unemployed back into work’ the government is rolling out various workfare schemes that will provide free labour for their rich corporate friends.

Many charities and even trade unions – who should know better – have been hoodwinked into supporting these schemes. However, in March we saw the government forced on the back foot following revelations of widespread fraud at one of the main Work Programme providers and actions against high street companies involved in the Work Experience Programme.

The fact that many companies quickly responded by either withdrawing from the scheme or announcing that they were reviewing their participation shows how vulnerable the government’s workfare programme is at the moment. In addition DWP staff are now being told that referrals to workfare must be entirely voluntary on not just the Work Experience scheme for young people, but also the Sector Based Work Academies scheme and the Government’s flagship Work Programme.

Brighton Benefits Campaign has been fighting workfare since our first campaign against the Flexible New Deal in 2010. We have proved that acting against workfare gets results. But we can’t afford to be complacent – these changes are only temporary and can be easily reversed. We believe that it is necessary to build on the success so far, and break workfare before it becomes established.

We have therefore organised a conference to bring together campaigners, voluntary groups, trade unions & others opposed to workfare, to share experiences and information and to co-ordinate a sustained national campaign. All workfare, whether ‘voluntary’ or mandatory: is part of a concerted assault on welfare & public services destroys paid jobs, & undermines the pay & conditions of those already in work is an attack on real volunteering is yet another generous government handout for big business.

We invite your group to take part in building the fightback against workfare. More information here.

Full details & an online booking form can be found on our conference page  here.If you would like more information please email or contact us on 07730 776471

Hoping to see you there. in solidarity Brighton Benefits Campaign —


10 Responses

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  1. A couple of days ago I had a sudden impulse to go and visit the Communards’ Wall in Père-Lachaise. Of course, I couldn’t do it, I don’t have the money to travel to Paris; I’m just saying that’s what I very much wanted to do.

    From Wikipedia (yet again):

    ‘…in the third arrondissement, school materials were provided free, three parochial schools were “laicised”, and an orphanage was established. In the twentieth arrondissement, schoolchildren were provided with free clothing and food. There were many similar examples, but a vital ingredient in the Commune’s relative success, at this stage, was the initiative shown by ordinary workers who managed to take on the responsibilities of the administrators and specialists who had been removed by Thiers.’



    May 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    • It’s a great place to visit and not only for The Communards’ Wall (Mur des Fédérés).

      There are also events held in Montmartre at the place where the Commune began wiith a riot.

      Ah that brings me back…….

      Mind you getting to Brighton is too expensive for me!

      Andrew Coates

      May 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

  2. for the money that these companies are paying it doesn’t cover public transport,particularly national rail.someone would be worse off then on the dole.

    there are agency vacancies with 70-100+ applicants’.

    also in some areas vacancies are advertised and pushed to apply even though its a 45+ return trip,they will haggle over times but it can take up to two and a half hours’ from the door that’s even if someone could get there at all.

    it would be unreasonable for any person let alone a vulnerable disabled one.unfortunately the type of people these companies employ often have the gift of the gab,they don’t make any reasonable adjustments and will get away with what they can unless brought to heal.

    they are keen to play down any problems regarding health, then saying you will be passed over at the interview stage that’s not what the government are publicising

    the whole thing is a complete sham and an unworkable practice,yet these programs still are discussed as the bees knees and the future rosy.however the truth becomes only to apparent very quickly to those sent to them.

    the sooner all of this collapses the better,its done nothing to reduce unemployment,its an abusers paradise from the top to the bottom.the sad fact is there isn’t the jobs for the number of people out of work,free labour isnt going to cure that.


    May 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

    • I’ve tried to make this point about applying for jobs.

      For example, it costs about £16 a day minimum to get to some places round here, Ipswich (say Colchester, with two bus rides – to both stations and back).

      That’s just for the nearest destinations!

      £80 quid a week is a hefty sum.

      Of course making transport so expensive – that is the customer pays – means letting employers pay less.

      In many European countries fares are subsidised by taxing employers on the basis that this gets people to work and helps make jobs more attractive.

      Here the only concern is with the profits of the rail etc companies, and reducing whatever subsidies are left.

      Andrew Coates

      May 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

  3. that has what has happened here 16 miles,six stops by rail £18.20 a day or £91 a week,a vacancy such as this is not viable on a low wage even though this is full time .

    there appears to be a penchant also at the moment for vacancies that offer part time work at 4 hours a day,particularly supermarkets. this is totally not feasible for many let alone the transport costs.


    May 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

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