Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13907

Posted on 20 February 2012 at 10:54 GMT

Mass anger forces more companies to abandon workfare schemes

After protests hit London, Manchester and Leeds at the weekend, alongside an onslaught upon Tesco's presence in social media the company and others are feeling the squeeze. 99p Stores and Tk Maxx are the latest companies to drop out of the scheme, whilst Matalan is reviewing its participation in it, which comes on top of Sainsbury's and Waterstones.

Even Tesco was forced to complain to the government about the scheme being mandatory, although it is still happy to have people work for free (as the government continues to pay their JSA and any expenses).

The Department for Work and Pensions' Work Programme provider guidance states that those on JSA who are participating must do the work on a mandatory basis to avoid minimum wage regulations: "Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is work experience you must mandate participants to this activity.

"This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated" (www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3.pdf).

These schemes are an attack on the pay, terms and conditions of all retail workers, who in many cases only receive the minimum wage or just above it.

Although Tesco claims that the initial advert that started the storm of controversy, for a permanent night shift job in East Anglia paid at a rate of 'JSA + expenses', several other similar adverts have been found on the internet placed the day after this hit the media.

On Friday 17th February, adverts were placed for a 32 hour a week permanent job as a Customer Assistant at Tesco in Hoyland near Barnsley, with the wage being 'travel expenses', as well as for a permanent Retail Assistant at 25 hours per week for Superdrug in Fishponds Road, Bristol for 'JSA + expenses'.

Usdaw, the retail workers' union, has correctly demanded that anyone on such work experience placements should be paid the 'rate for the job' without compulsion.

It should take this a step further and support the protests that have been taking place outside Tesco stores over the company's participation in the scheme, as well as linking up with those like Youth Fight for Jobs to build a mass campaign against workfare.

Protesters should aim to build links with Usdaw reps in the stores they are protesting outside of. This is vital, as although the protests so far have forced several employers, including Tesco, onto the back foot, the only way to guarantee a permanent end to such schemes is to build strong, active union organisation across the retail sector that will not just end workfare, but get rid of the blight of low pay and understaffing that most retail workers have to suffer.

Youth Fight for Jobs is organising protests in the next few days outside Tesco stores and is taking part in the 'Boycott Workfare' campaign day of action on 3rd March.

Iain Dalton

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






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

Tesco:

triangleTesco's 10% pay increase accompanied by cuts and job losses

triangleUsdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?

triangleSolidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

JSA:

triangleESA under the cosh

triangleWorse off than our parents

triangleBenefit sanctions ruin lives

Retail:

triangleThree-week Argos distribution strike

triangleArgos fails to pay staff minimum wage - taxman cuts fine in half!

Minimum wage:

triangleThem & Us

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

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

V2