Photo From The Anti-Workfare Walk Of Shame Monday May 6th

The British Heart Foundation Uses Forced Unpaid Labour. 

We also picketed Poundland, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons, Top Man/Top Shop and Debenhams.  If previous holidays are anything to go by Workfare companies will have had people in working for nothing on Workfare rather than pay their regular staff holiday pay for the Bank holiday.

More photos on our Facebook page:

May Day Poundland picket in Manchester

A picket of Poundland was organised in Manchester on May Day to coincide with the IWA days of action against Austerity, Exploitation and Oppression. Poundland  is making use of the government's Workfare programme that forces the unemployed to work for nothing. The picket was organised by Manchester Solfed and was supported by members of Manchester AF. The picket took place at the Poundland shop in the Arndale Shopping centre and we were soon approached by security staff who demanded we stop our protest on the grounds that it was taking place on private property. A few hundred leaflets were distributed  and the picket was generally well recieved by shoppers.

Workfare Picket in Hull - 6th of April.

Hull SolFed recently held a picket against the Workfare scheme outside of the new Poundland store, in the centre of town. Four SolFed members were joined by three members of the local unemployed peoples group in distributing leaflets and asking shoppers not to use Poundland. The picket managed to both turn customers away and engaged a lot of sympathetic passersby in conversation about the workfare scheme. The stores managers were unpleased with the picket, asking Humberside police to move us a small distance away from the doors (Approx 6 inches, in fact!). One member decided to respond with loud slogans, causing more interest than before.

I was going to buy something - but fuck it!

The continuing struggle against workfare was taken, by Bristol Anarchist Federation, to the door of shameless exploiters at Homebase. Bristol Solidarity Federation responded to the request for support and turned up to spread the clear message - "Workfare is Slavery"

After it was recently revealed that management at the Haringey branch of Homebase had it tapped into a seemingly endless source of free labour. It was clear that a new target of anti-workfare activists was emerging. The Haringey store bosses had been caught bragging about that it was getting 750 hours of free labour every week in their store.

Report from a day of protest against Benefit Reform and Workfare in Tottenham

In the morning some of us went to the 1000 Mothers March against the benefit Changes in Tottenham with Haringey Solidarity Group. There was good turn out of 5-600 and a lively local march made its way from Tottenham green up the high street.                                                                                        We peeled off and headed down to Turnpike Lane to picket Poundland along with members of Solent Solfed, (who'd come down for the party later that evening) from 1pm onwards. We moved down to Homebase at about half 2, despite the rain, and the response at both stores was good. We had a lot of people taking leaflets, a few cheers from teenagers passing by and a few stopping for a chat about their experiences on the work programme. We packed up around 4 and headed home/to the café for a well earned cuppa.

East and West London Unite to Attack Workfare

Despite the freezing temperatures and snow showers on Saturday 23rd March, members of Feminist Fightback, North London Solfed, Boycott Workfare and other local groups, residents and anti-workfare protesters picketed Argos in Leytonstone and Poundland in Wembley.

In Leytonstone, for a large demonstration the reception from the public was generally very positive, with residents driving past slowing down and opening windows asking for leaflets. Plenty of people stopped to chat despite the cold.

We picketed Argos as part of the Boycott Workfare week of action and we were originally going to picket Superdrug as well who pulled out a day before the demo; no doubt in part due to pressure from anti-workfare groups and campaigns across the country.

Haringey Council and Groundwork picketed over Workfare

Yesterday North London Solidarity Federation picketed the Homes For Haringey offices in Wood Green and the depot for Groundwork, in Tottenham, who are employed by the Council to provide gardening and improvement services on estates in the area. The demonstration was against Groundwork's use of workfare; unemployed people are forced by Jobcentres to do the work. They are not being paid for it and they can't refuse or they would lose their benefits for two months.

There are over 6,500 people looking for work in Tottenham and this number keeps on increasing. The area has the highest unemployment in London. What is Haringey Council doing? Hundreds of people providing essential services have been made redundant and now they are being replaced by unpaid workers.

"The Secretary of State may select a claimant for participation in a scheme"

The title of this post is the sole criterion set down in the new workfare regulations regarding whom and under what conditions a person might be required to undertake one of the Government’s forced labour schemes (with the exception of MWA). Gone is the much vaunted ‘voluntary’ aspect that was used to defend the schemes for the last year; now, if you are a claimant it is now completely arbitrary whether you're forced to chose between wageless employement or the loss of your benefits. 'The benefits system has entered the State of Exception.'

These are schemes that are specifically aimed at providing free labour to parts of the private sector whose profits are hit by crisis.