Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13835

Posted on 17 February 2012 at 14:44 GMT

Slave labour retail jobs scandal

Fight workfare - For real jobs!

Over the past few months the government's work experience scheme has come under increasing scrutiny. The scheme attempts to introduce slave labour for the young unemployed, with young people working 30 hours a week for eight weeks and receiving no additional pay on top of their Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), which they are threatened with losing if they do not participate.

The case that has received the most media attention is that of Cait Reilly, a geology graduate who had been volunteering in a museum to try to get a job there, but was forced to work in Poundland.

The scandal reverberating from this has prompted Sainsbury's and Waterstones to pull out of the scheme.

According to the government's propaganda this 'experience' will give young people the skills to make employers take them on.

But there is no guaranteed job at the end of the 'experience'. Tesco has already taken on 1,400 'volunteers', but only 300 have received jobs and who's to say that they wouldn't have been taken on anyway.

Tesco has now started advertising jobs as 'JSA + expenses' in the job centre plus system, including one dated 9 February for night shift workers (usually premium rates) in East Anglia.

The truth is that this is a massive attack on pay, terms and conditions of retail workers. Instead of filling vacancies with real jobs, companies can bolster their profits by taking on conscripts for a month or two.

It is welcome that shopworkers' union Usdaw has now heeded the call we made three months ago and has come out in open opposition to the scheme, with general secretary John Hannett being quoted in the press as demanding 'the rate for the job'.

Usdaw putting pressure on companies it has agreements with is a step forward, but it shouldn't be left there.

Activists and reps should link up with unemployed campaign groups such as unemployed workers' centres and Youth Fight for Jobs to build a campaign linking those in and out of work to scrap the 'work experience' scheme and replace it with real jobs with union rates of pay and conditions.

Youth Fight for Jobs is organising actions around the country for the 'Boycott Workfare' campaign national day of action on Saturday 3 March. Get involved!

Iain Dalton

Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser commented on the government's scheme: "This demonstrates loud and clear that companies like Tesco see youth unemployment not as the modern day blight it is but as an opportunity.

If Tesco has the work that needs doing then they should pay a living wage and give decent terms and conditions to the people doing it. If they lack the will to do so then they should be nationalised and forced to do so.

If Tesco get away with this it sets a very dangerous precedent. This could mean a whole generation of young people being trapped in a cycle of working poverty.

We are calling for the government to invest in genuine job creation. We say that there should be a publicly funded programme for decent jobs, apprenticeships and training schemes to really give young people opportunities.

On Monday 20th February and also on the 3rd March 'Boycott Welfare' day of action we will be protesting at Tesco stores up and down the country.

We are calling on Tesco to withdraw from the scheme. We are also calling on the government to put an end to this exploitation".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Facebook   Twitter






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:

Workfare:

triangleFeatured letter: 'Universal Jobmatch' con: 'Rabbit trail' of recurring, non-existent job ads

triangleStop hammering low-paid - 10 an hour now!

triangleBlock Osborne's Billionaire Budget

triangleWorkers' pay down 2,500... Bosses' pay up 700,000

triangleTesco: every little cut helps

Jobs:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: What does the EU exit vote mean for jobs, wages & housing?

triangleHospital porters and domestic staff claim jobs and pay victory

triangleLetters: EU referendum

triangleEU: busting the myths that Remain is best for the 99%

Tesco:

triangleReinstate sacked Samworth Brothers union activist

triangleThem & Us

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Young people:

triangleGeneration rent demands affordable housing

triangleMomentum Youth and Students: Witch hunts won't take movement forward

Pay:

triangleNational Museum workers accept deal

Unemployed:

triangleBosses' and union tops' "agenda of misery"

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleBFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

JSA:

triangleESA under the cosh

Poverty:

triangleHousing Act: landlords and developers set to profit

Job Seekers Allowance:

triangleWelfare 'reform' - fight these attacks

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/7/16

Manchester

Manchester & Trafford Socialist Party: 1926 General Strike - 100 years on

25/6/16

EU

June - July meetings on the EU referendum result

24/6/16

Union

NUT members vote 91.7% for strike

24/6/16

TUSC

TUSC press release: EU referendum

24/6/16

National Museum of Wales

National Museum workers accept deal

24/6/16

National Museum of Wales

National Museum workers accept deal

23/6/16

Sheffield

Sheffield UCU strikers run alternative open day

22/6/16

LGBT

LGBT liberation and socialism

22/6/16

Refugees

Convoy to Calais: Outrageous blocking of aid for refugees

22/6/16

BFAWU

Reinstate sacked Samworth Brothers union activist

22/6/16

RMT

Southern conductors back on the picket lines

22/6/16

Unison

Unison local government conference 2016

22/6/16

Leeds

Parents in Leeds discuss attacks on education

22/6/16

BFAWU

BFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

22/6/16

Rail

Solid strike against "Britain's worst train company"

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

triangle25 Jun June - July meetings on the EU referendum result

triangle24 Jun Tories Out! General election now

triangle24 Jun National Museum workers accept deal

Leeds vigil to give solidarity with Orlando LGBT shooting victims, 13.6.16

triangle22 Jun LGBT liberation and socialism

triangle22 Jun Convoy to Calais: Outrageous blocking of aid for refugees

triangle22 Jun Middle East: Isis under pressure on several fronts

triangle21 Jun Left alternative needed to counter austerity, racism and the far right

More ...

triangle2 Jul NSSN 10th annual conference


triangle27 Jun Wirral Socialist Party: What next after the EU referendum result?

triangle27 Jun Nottingham Socialist Party: What next after the referendum?

triangle27 Jun Carlisle Socialist Party: Establishment defeated, now defeat Tory austerity!

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice