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Weekend of Online Action Against Workfare – Saturday 3rd – Sunday 4th March

March 2, 2012

Protests against workfare will be taking place in 35 (and counting) locations tomorrow as part of a National Day of Action called by Boycott Workfare.  For the latest details of protests visit their website at:

Despite Chris Grayling’s humiliating climbdown on workfare this week, the battle is far from over.  The government have not scrapped workfare sanctions. They have removed some sanctions from one of the five schemes.

Just like before, we need to show that companies profiting from forced labour that is not acceptable.  Under the Work Programme claimants can be forced to work in private companies for up to six months or face the poverty and possible homelessness that benefit sanctions bring.

We need to stop this now.  Please contact the companies concerned, flood their facebook pages and twitter feeds, email them and make sure they know that we are just as angry as ever about their used of forced labour.

The government refuses to tell us which companies are profiting from unpaid labour on the Work Programme, and has removed any information from the DWP’s website.  How, due a now ‘disappeared’ Freedom of Information Act request, we know for sure that the companies and charities below have taken on workfare staff under the Work Programme scheme.

Remember to tell them if are are planning to boycott them or withdraw donations unless they pull out of workfare immediately.

ASDA – on twitter @asda and facebook at:!/Asda  Their facebook wall is locked down but you can leave comments.  Or you can contact them direct (Freephone no) at:

Savers – on twitter (but not very active) @saversstore or facebook at: Contact them direct at:

Barnados – on twitter @Barnados  They have said they will not take young people on work experience who face sanctions but have remained silent on the workfare staff in their shops.  On facebook at:!/barnardos?sk=wall  Contact page at:

Holiday Inn – on twitter @holidayinn on facebook at:!/HolidayInnUKIreland?sk=wall

Pizza Hut – on twitter @pizzahut  There UK page is @pizzahut_uk but is barely active.  They are busy on facebook at:  Contact page at:

Poundstretcher – on twitter @poundstretcher1 (barely active) and not active on facebook email them at: – website at:

British Heart Foundation – on twitter @thebhf on facebook at:   Contact page:

Wilkinson – Barely active on twitter.  On facebook at:!/WilkinsonPlus?sk=wall  Their wall is locked down but you can leave comments or contact them at:

99p Stores – Can’t find them on twitter.  On facebook at:  or contact them at:

Salvation Army – believed to be involved in Mandatory Work Activity and the Work Programme.  On twitter @salvationarmyuk or facebook at: Contact page at:

Booker Wholesale – on twitter @bookerwholesale and facebook at:  Contact page at:

Jamie Oliver – Jamie has been whinging this week that he hasn’t been sent a workfare slave yet even though he signed up to the Work Programme months ago.  Why not tell this multi-millionaire what you think of him using forced labour on twitter @jamieoliver


It is unclear whether the following companies will remain involved in the Work Experience scheme or the far more draconian Work Programme.  Ask them and demand they do not profit from forced labour.

Argos – on twitter @argos_online and facebook at:  Contact page at:

McDonalds – very busy international page on twitter @mcdonalds  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

Primark – on twitter @primarkjobs Seemingly impossible to get in touch with any other way.  Visit your local store instead!

Holland & Barrett – inactive twitter page @holland_barrett  Contact page at:

Cancer Research UK – on twitter @CR_UK  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

Age UK – on twitter @age_uk   On facebook at:  Contact page at:


Many other companies and charities are using workfare.  Very little has changed despite Chris Grayling’s announcement.  According to the trade industry for workfare providers,  only Boots have told them they are pulling out so far.  Oxfam and Shelter have made clear statements distancing themselves from workfare and the Work Programme.  Sainsburys, Tesco and Waterstones have all said they are not involved in the scheme.  Poundland has pulled out of Work Programme but will continue to take work experience placements as long as they are not subject to benefit sanctions.

Please list contact details of all known workfare exploiters in the comments.

The following charities are part sub-contractors for Work Programme as part of the Disability Works consortium.  Several of them have also used workfare in their charity shops.  Contact them and demand they pull out of workfare.  More importantly, with government plans revealed to force sick and disabled people into permanent work for no pay we urgently need a statement from all these charities that will they not play any part in such a crueland abusive scheme.

SCOPE – on twitter at @scope  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

Mencap – on twitter @mencap_charity  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

MIND – on twitter @mindcharity  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

Leonard Chesire Disability – on twitter @LCDisability  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

Action for Blind People – on twitter @action4blind  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

Advance – not active on twitter or facebook.  Contact page at:

Pluss – on twitter  @plussaddtolife  On facebook at:  Contact page:

United Response – on twitter @unitedresponse  On facebook at:  Contact page at:

And if you’ve still got time after all that then why not give disability deniers Atos a kick, the company responsible for the flawed health and disability benefit eligibility tests testing which have driven some people to suicide.  They’ll only feel left out otherwise.  On twitter @atos  Not allowed on facebook.  Contact page at:

If you ring companies please remember you are probably speaking to a low paid receptionist, and just as importantly that communications can be easily traced.  It is an offence to make malicious or abusive phone calls.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2012 9:20 am

    Reblogged this on Act of Defiance.

  2. Ged permalink
    July 8, 2012 4:06 pm

    why doesn’t some unite people on workfare by setting up a union. that way any unfair treatment can be met with swift action via a member voting system.

  3. Ged permalink
    July 8, 2012 4:08 pm


  4. March 1, 2013 10:01 am

    Hey running your own business is a pain, but the freedom it gives you is worth it, I think what should be focused on is helping people create their own business, not relying on the state or established companies to provide the solution that is what is going to dig the UK out of this unemployment hole its in. It benefits the country and the individuals onmany levels, not just financialy. Creating your own business gives people a sence of purpous rather than working for a limited wage (sole destroying). The problem is the banks not lending to startups and when you get an individual who tries to make a difference (Bank of dave) the establishment does everything in its power to stop them. Thats the most frustrating aspect, that genuinly people whant the dignity that work affords them but are being denied the right to do so, by people who will never know the frustrations and despair of the people who their borad policies affect.


  1. Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » The Workfare Day of Action is here!
  2. Birmingham Trades Council » The Workfare Day of Action is here!

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