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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 February 2012

Workfare: We won't work for free! Youth Fight for Jobs joins nationwide protests against workfare

We won't work for free!

Becci Heagney, East Midlands Youth Fight for Jobs

Workfare? Fair it's certainly not! The bankers help cause the biggest economic crisis in generations and get rewarded with billions. Yet ordinary people, who've already had to pay with cuts, cuts and more cuts, are now being told to work for free.

There are 2.67 million people unemployed and hardly any vacancies. But instead of creating jobs, the government is giving another reward to big business in the form of slave labour.

Massive companies such as McDonald's, Boots and Primark are offering unemployed people the 'opportunity' to work for their benefits. The government assures us that it is voluntary - unless you pull out, in which case, you'll lose your dole!

But the government isn't finding it as easy to exploit us as it would have liked! Tesco, Burger King, Poundland, Matalan, TX Maxx, Waterstones and Sainsbury's have all withdrawn as a wave of protests and occupations spread across the country.

Nearly every day another private company or charity backs off as the scheme starts to crumble. This campaign was sparked by a Tesco job advert promising a permanent night shift worker pay of 'JSA + expenses'.

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan

Click for gallery. Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Jobseeker's Allowance for under-25s is a measly 53.45 a week. That means nothing to millionaire ministers such as Iain Duncan Smith, who had the audacity to describe those protesting as a "commentating elite" who "belittle and downgrade any opportunity for young people". Isn't that a description of the Tories?

What proof of how rotten capitalism is that in 2012 young people have to demand 'a day's pay for a day's work'! It's not like these companies can't afford it. McDonald's Corporation reported profits of $1.38 billion last year!

If people want work experience, it should be fully paid with a guaranteed job at the end and it should provide useful experience. The Work Programme is nothing more than providing free labour to increase the profits of big business.

The Con-Dems have been forced onto the back foot already. We demand decent jobs with decent pay. Protests, linked with the trade unions, need to be stepped up until the whole Work Programme is scrapped!

Youth Fight for Jobs calls for:
Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Give us real jobs!

Join the fortnight of action against workfare - protests around the country

Get in touch for details of what's happening near you:
020 8558 7947

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

In The Socialist 29 February 2012:

Fighting workfare

We won't work for free!

Working class needs real political opposition to Con-Dem millionaires

A4e: workfare vultures in crisis

'We want jobs - not slave labour!'

Interview with a jobcentre worker

Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the Health Bill

Solidarity with Occupy London protesters

Unison leadership found guilty of "unjustifiable discipline" against four Socialist Party activists

Sun launch can't hide corrupt practices

It's bonuses for bankers

Them & Us

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why I'm standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London Assembly election

Student walkout - build mass action

Kirklees Sure Start children centres

Voluntary sector cuts expose Big Society lies

Stop North East NHS childcare cuts

Sheffield housing - failed by privatisation

Campaign news in brief

The battle against internet censorship

May Day Greetings in the Socialist

International socialist news and analysis

Iran: Tensions with the US and its allies are ratcheted-up

Europe - Young people fight ACTA

Socialist Party workplace news

'Priceless victory' of sparks against the Dirty Seven

Continuing the pensions battle: PCS consultative ballot

Continuing the pensions battle - Universities

Three-year pay freeze hits hard

Workplace news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 29 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

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