Boycott workfare

Communication Workers Union HQ picketed in protest against workfare at Royal Mail

On Monday April 2nd members of London SF, Solent SF and the IWW joined Boycott Workfare activists to picket the headquarters of the Communication Workers Union over their support for workfare.

CWU officials have signed an agreement with the Royal Mail to allow DWP "Work Experience". People on the scheme face the threat of sanctions for refusal and if they do not take part they are likely to be sent on a number of other compulsory schemes.

The CWU leadership insists that their agreement with Royal Mail is for "voluntary" work experience only. Unless there is a guarantee that people leaving the scheme will not face sanctions the scheme is not voluntary. No such guarantee is in place.

Kilburn Anti-Workfare picket a success

Last Saturday, the North London Solidarity Federation was joined by members of the Industrial Workers of the World and Boycott Workfare for a mid-day picket of the Holland and Barrett in Kilburn, North West London.

Picketers numbered over twenty in total and came prepared with flags, hi-vis jackets, and various banners decrying the exploitative nature of the government's various workfare schemes. Nearly 1000 leaflets were handed out over the course of the action and throughout the picket prospective customers were persuaded to do their shopping elsewhere.

Public response was overwhelmingly positive. One member of the public even stopped by for half and hour to help us do some leafleting. Others took the opportunity to go into the store and express their dissatisfaction directly to the Holland and Barrett manager on duty at the time.

Glasgow Picket Against Holland & Barrett Workfare Report

Members of Clydeside Industrial Workers of the World, the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation picketed the Queen Street branch of Holland & Barrett at lunchtime on Saturday 31st March. We managed to turn some people away at the entrance. We had placards proclaiming 'The H&B Workfare Deal, Employ Three, Get One Free' in the style of Holland and Barrett advertising as Holland and Barrett plan to have a quarter of their workers as unpaid labour. Another placard said, 'Say No To Workfare At Holland and Barrett'. We gave out 500 leaflets detailing Holland & Barrett use of unpaid labour. A number of people stopped to ask what the picket was about. A member of the Holland & Barrett staff was one of these people on her way in to start her shift. She said that one girl had been on work experience at the store, but that she had got a permanent job.

Combating workfare in Liverpool (31/3/2012)

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation were joined on pickets by other activists today as part of the Solfed national day of action against workfare. We distributed around 800 leaflets across three sites. Our first target was an ASDA store in Wavertree before returning to the city centre in order to target two branches of Holland and Barrett.

As we began our ASDA protest the Police were already in attendance, but after we answered ‘no’ to their fiendishly subtle question, “Are you lot here to cause a disturbance”, they generally left us alone. That was until the store manager and several security staff came out in an attempt to intimidate us. Some of the security staff actually physically pushed customers out of our way to prevent us giving them our leaflets.

Holland and Barrett Picket in Halifax

Members of West Yorkshire Solidarity Federation were joined by Huddersfield Anarchists to picket Holland and Barrett in Halifax today as part the anti workfare campaign in conjunction with the IWA days of action.
We were met with a good response overall and gave out 250 leaflets. H&B had a member of staff on the door to "welcome shoppers" which shows they were worried we'd have an impact.
One person who we gave a leaflet to took it to the local Job Centre and handed it round. It apparently went down well. Other feedback included an ex member of staff at H&B who stated that they were a rubbish employer and leaving was the best thing she'd ever done.
This isn't the end, we will continue to hold pickets at various H&B branches (as well as other slave labour companies ) until they stop using unpaid slave labour.

Glasgow Picket Against Holland & Barrett Workfare Sat. 31st March 12 noon St Enoch's

Glasgow Picket Against Holland & Barrett Workfare

Saturday 31st March

Meet 12 noon outside the front entrance of St Enoch's Underground Station to move on to the Workfare target - Holland & Barrett 9 Queen Street, Glasgow, G1 3ED.

Holland & Barrett are set to become one of the biggest exploiters of forced labour with plans to take on 1000 unpaid work experience placements from the Job Centre over the next year. With a workforce of only around 3,500 people this could amount to almost a quarter of their current staff on Workfare – work for dole money.

Fighting Workfare At Royal Mail

Most people will have heard about the CWU leadership endorsing the Royal Mail's participation in the workfare scheme, whilst at the same time ignoring rank and file members views on forced labour and attacks on workers rights.

Concerned posties from SOLFED, IWW, Boycott Workfare, and CWU send you the following call out, and request for solidarity.

See you on the picket!

Solent Solfed 


Open Letter to all members of the Communication Workers Union, (CWU)