SLSF Press release on week of action against workfare
FIGHTING AGAINST WORKFARE
South London Solidarity Federation will be joining a week of action against Holland and Barrett's involvement in workfare from 7th to 14th July. The week will see stores picketed all over the country and SLSF are calling protests outside several South London branches of the multinational-owned store.
Workfare involves job-seekers working for their benefit at businesses that would otherwise need to employ people. If they refuse they can have their benefits stopped. This is a massive subsidy to Holland and Barrett – usually employers expect to pay at least minimum wage for workers.
The group are keen to stress that the protest is not just aimed at the use of subsidised coerced labour. Member Jack Foster said: “Workfare is an attack on all workers; firms like Holland & Barrett and Argos have cut the hours of regular staff and used workfare placements to take their place.”
The group are also keen to hear from people affected by workfare: if you have been forced to work for your benefits, or have lost shifts or hours because your employer has had workers for free, please tell your stories.
Quote: Holland & Barrett
I'm assuming we're not going to take H&B at their word right what with the proof being in the pudding and all that?
Anecdotally, I know of three people who've been on workfare. Two worked part-time/unconventional hours (I forget which), hated it, but got jobs at the end. The third worked 9-5 and still didn't get hired.
Article from Brighton
Article from Brighton SF:
Thanks to all the comrades in Afed, Boycott Workfare, UK Uncut, and lots of local groups like Staines Anarchists and individuals who took part. SolFed are in the best position to react to the news publicly and think about who the next target could be, but this is all our victory and Holland & Barrett wouldn't have given in had it not been for all of us.
Of course, the fact that this
Of course, the fact that this campaign has been in any way successful illustrates that it is in fact reformist.
the button wrote: Of course,
:confused: of course it is - what else would it be?
one question I do find interesting though is why this campaign has had some degree of success where others don't. groups can spend years - even decades - trying to press companies into a change of policy and make absolutely no progress, while the workfare stuff seems to have succeeded in pressuring several companies out of the scheme in a matter of months.
a few possibilities spring to mind - workfare harming their brand image to the point they had to pull out, them not relying on workfare that much in the first place and having less to lose by quitting, workfare itself being offensive to mainstream ideas ("a fair day's wage for a fair day's work" and all that), etc. - but don't really have much of an idea beyond that.
the button wrote: Of course,
A couple of months ago
A couple of months ago Poundland (or whatever they're called) promised under some pressure to revise their workfare involvement. But nothing's happened around here and they've carried on exactly the same. It's possible this is true of others?