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:

triangleReal jobs for all!

triangle'Welfare reform' - an avalanche of misery

triangleIs workfare coming to Morrisons?

triangleBuild a mass movement to defeat workfare and all cuts

triangleAnother blow for workfare

Jobs:

triangleFast Food Rights: Get the lady in the pink T-shirt out of here!

triangleGovernment's economic mirage as election approaches

triangleYouth services: jobs and centres slashed

triangleFight for real jobs

Tesco:

triangleDoncaster: uniting against anti-union bosses

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleTesco pittance wage increase

Young people:

triangleAbuse: Cuts have robbed us of the time to talk to these young people

triangleAnti-racist day of action: 18 September

Pay:

triangleDemonstration for all bus drivers to receive decent pay

Unemployed:

triangleBlame the profit system not its victims!

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleSolidarity Day: a great success

JSA:

triangleRapid recruitment in Plymouth

Poverty:

triangleUS: building a movement to end poverty pay!

Job Seekers Allowance:

triangleWelfare 'reform' - fight these attacks

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

11/9/14

London

Demonstration for all bus drivers to receive decent pay

11/9/14

FBU

FBU Ring of Fire tour

10/9/14

Teachers

NUT members angry at lack of October strike action

10/9/14

Tamil Solidarity

Solidarity Day: a great success

10/9/14

Leicester

TUSC councillors back taxi struggle

10/9/14

Strike

Workplace news in brief

10/9/14

Health

Labour lets down NHS protesters

10/9/14

Manchester

North West marches for end to austerity

10/9/14

TUC

TUC votes for 10 minimum wage

10/9/14

Doncaster

Care UK workers set for longest NHS strike

10/9/14

Napo

Probation officers protest against privatisation

9/9/14

Socialist

Socialist Party campaigning

8/9/14

NSSN

NSSN rally: Building pressure for the widest possible coordinated anti-austerity action

6/9/14

NUT

NUT executive opposes participation in 14 October strikes

5/9/14

Socialist

Ukip candidate screams at Socialist Party member on air

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

London bus drivers' campaign, photo Judy Beishon

triangle11 Sep Demonstration for all bus drivers to receive decent pay

triangle10 Sep Ebola virus: Victims of a failed capitalist system

 University, college and school students protest in central London against higher tuition fees and education cuts , photo Suzanne Beishon

triangle10 Sep Students: Fight debt, poverty and capitalism

Tamil Solidarity Day attendees listen to Unison executive member April Ashley, photo Fauzer Mahroof

triangle10 Sep Solidarity Day: a great success

triangle10 Sep Scotland in revolt against austerity

triangle10 Sep Probation officers protest against privatisation

triangle8 Sep NSSN rally: Building pressure for the widest possible coordinated...

More ...

triangle16 Sep Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Scottish independence - a socialist view

triangle16 Sep Merseyside Socialist Party: WW1 - the great imperialist slaughter

triangle17 Sep Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Recent events in Ferguson - Racism in USA

triangle18 Sep West London Socialist Party: How the arms trade fuels war

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice