WORKFARE REFERS TO A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES THAT FORCE PEOPLE TO WORK UP TO SIX MONTHS FOR LESS THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE OR JUST TO MAINTAIN THEIR JOBSEEKERS ALLOWANCE OR DISBAILITY BENEFITS, WITH NO GUARANTEE OF A JOB AFTERWARDS WORKFARE DOESN’T HELP ANYONE FIND WORK
People on workfare undertake the most unskilled work, like stacking shelves in supermarkets. It doesn’t provide any valuable work experience. Being in full time unpaid work hinders people on workfare from looking for proper, paid jobs. The most a jobseeker gets at the end of the workfare period is an interview, but what is the incentive for the employers to hire and pay them rather than take another unpaid workfare slave?
WORKFARE HARMS ALL WORKING PEOPLE
Every workfare placement replaces what could be a fully paid position. Retailers are using workfare placements to deal with increased demand during festive seasons, and local authorities use them to replace paid workers whom they have sacked because of the cuts. The pool of always available workfare slaves who don’t need to be paid for work helps employers push down the wages of those already in work.
WORKFARE ONLY BENEFITS CORPORATIONS
Workfare is a government subsidy for the big companies using it. Multi-billion-pound corporations are provided with free labour at the taxpayer’s expense, while the people forced into the scheme are paid less than £1.8 an hour. “Fairness” is supposed to be big on the government agenda, but how is that fair?
WORKFARE IS UNETHICAL
The demand for jobs is high, with up to 50+ people queuing for each job in places like Tottenham. People are unemployed because there is no work, not because they are ‘workshy’. When on workfare, they have no workplace rights and can be dismissed at the slightest whim of the boss, with the consequence of loss of all benefits for 6 months. This regime is forced upon the young and the most vulnerable in society – the government wants to make disabled people work indefinitely or lose their benefits.
Boycott Workfare has called a national day of action against workfare on Saturday 3rd March, 2011. There will be a Boycott Workfare action in Central London on this day and people all over the UK are to take action on their high streets. Sheffield Uncut has called a protest on this day meeting on Devonshire Green at 1pm. Members of the Pizza Hut Workers’ Union (Pizza Hut is one of the companies organising workfare placements) will be there as well as Sheffield Wobs organising as claimants and service-users.