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National Week of Action Against Workfare

July 1, 2012

When: 7th July – 14th July
Where: Nationwide

Join the national week of action against workfare!

The Queens Jubilee has seen the disgrace of exploiting the unemployed through workfare. The ‘ethical’ company Holland & Barrett who are due to be signed up to 1100 workfare places will receive its deserved focus of this week of action. Up and down the country groups will been taking action against workfare providers – A4E, Maximus, Reed etc… including those who have signed up on workfare – Holland & Barrett, Tesco, Shoe Zone etc…

Join us and take part in fun and creative actions against workfare.

What can you do?

  • Join up with your local groups – anti-cuts groups, claimants groups, trade unions and other organisations campaigning against workfare!
  • Organise a workfare walk of shame on your high street. See a video and how to guide here.
  • Come to our workfare counter-conference on 10th July in Birmingham from 10am – 5.30pm at the Unite Building, Transport House, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1AY (Disability access provided)
  • Do some sleuthing! Help find out where workfare is taking place on your high street.
  • Know your rights! Leaflet at your local job centre or work programme provider to let people know their rights. Download the latest leaflet here.
  • Be creative! People have dressed as chain gangs, occupied shops that use workfare, encouraged customers to turn away, delivered a “bullshit detector” to workfare thinktanks, organised a farewell party for A4e and more…
  • Contact us! Let us know what you’re planning on the Facebook event here or email or tweet to @boycottworkfare

These actions have been announced so far:

Birmingham – Join our workfare counter-conference on 10th July in Birmingham from 10am – 5.30pm at the Unite Building, Transport House, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1AY (Disability access provided). More info.

Brighton – 11am 7th July – Workfare walk of shame. More info.

Hastings – 11.30am 7th July Station Plaza. More info.

Leeds – Planning page for the week of action, with workfare walks of shame on Wednesday and Thursday. More info.

Liverpool – Weekly pickets culminating in a 7th of July action! More Info.

London – 12 noon, near Goodge Street station. More info.

York – Fountain Parliament Square 1pm 7th July. More info.

Poole – 1pm 7th July – Kingland Crescent Holland and Barrett. More info.

South West – July 7th will see our campaign take to the streets of Bristol again. The following week will see a variety of action across the region. We currently have news of pickets of workfare providers taking place in Bath, Yate, Wells, Stroud, Swindon and again in Bristol. More details to follow. More info.

You may want to find out more information here about workfare providers and those who have signed up to it.


Week of Actions Against ATOS in Manchester

May 29, 2012

Manchester Coalition Against Cuts  and Manchester Against Benefit Cuts are organising a week of action against changes to disability living allowance and the role of ATOS in carrying out “evaluations” for fitness to work which have been linked to over 1000 deaths  (see press coverage). Please help spread the word!

Details of week of action
31 May, 12pm: Protest march from Albert Square to ATOS “assessment” centre at Albert Bridge House

6 June, 7pm: Public Meeting at Friends’ Meeting House on building resistance against ATOS

9 June, 11am: Petition and stall, Market Street

Manchester Against Benefit Cuts Facebook page

Protest Lord Freud – The Benefit Fraud

May 22, 2012

Lord Fraud, the odious toff behind many of the welfare reforms, will be speaking at the National Housing Federation’s Welfare Reform Conference in London on May 23rd (that’s tomorrow folks).

Join the protest outside from 9.15 to tell the former banker that we are coming for him.

The conference is being held at the swanky Commonwealth Club, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP, just round the corner from Charing Cross Station.

Also taking place this week in the West Midlands is a protest against the use of workfare in our hospitals.  Meet at Sandwell Hospital, West Bromwich, B71 4HJ. Assemble at the corner of Little Lane and All Saints Road, outside the A&E dept on Thursday 24th May at 5pm.  More details on the DPAC website.

Farewell Emma, Farewell A4e – Come to the Goodbye Party!

May 16, 2012

12pm Thursday, May 17, 2012
Brixton A4e, Brixton High Road (by the Railway Bridge)

Boycott Workfare have called a farewell party for Emma Harrison who recently scarpered from her fraud ridden training company A4e.  After pocketing a dividend worth almost £10 million, Emma left the company after stories emerged of police investigations surrounding the firm.  Emma hasn’t been seen since and is believed to be mansion hunting in any country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the UK.

A4e are one of the UK’s biggest workfare companies, paid billions of pounds to bully people into unpaid labour for supermarkets, charities and high street shops.  Due to recent protests aimed at workfare the Government has temporarily removed sanctions from most of the workfare schemes.    Compulsory workfare was at the heart of the Government’s £5 billion Work Programme.  So far the Government are refusing to provide figures detailing whether anyone has actually got a job on the Work Programme.

It is known if people who refuse to go on workfare are now being forced to go on one of the few remaining forced labour schemes instead.  It is also not known if, or when, workfare – a key part of the Government’s flawed strategy to reduce unemployment by creating an army of free labour – will be back.  Voluntary workfare still exists and remains a tool for millionaire bosses to undermine everybody’s pay and working conditions.  The fight against workfare continues.

Join Boycott Workfare from noon this Thursday May 17th, outside Brixton A4e, to say goodbye, or good riddance, to Emma Harrison.

Boycott Workfare will be holding a farewell party outside Brixton A4e with balloons, music, cake, fizzy pop, and party hats. The party will allow us to raise awareness about the fraudulent practices and bullying that these ‘welfare to work’ providers engage in and to discuss with claimants their rights. This latter act is particularly important and effective. Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty recently won a victory over A4e after claimants spoke out and organised against A4e. They are now allowed to be accompanied into A4e with their own representative.

“Join us outside Brixton A4e on Thursday 17th May at 12pm where we will party and leaflet for welfare rights. Brixton A4e is close to where the railway bridge crosses the high street.

“After the party we will take a stroll along the high street in an information gathering exercise to find out who is in and who is out of the workfare schemes. We suspect that there may be many high street stores taking workfare who have managed so far to keep it secret.”

Facebook event page:

How Do We Break Workfare: National Conference Saturday 26 May

May 8, 2012

From Brighton Benefits Campaign

Dear Friends

Under the guise of ‘helping the unemployed back into work’ the government is rolling out various workfare schemes that will provide free labour for their rich corporate friends.

Many charities and even trade unions – who should know better – have been hoodwinked into supporting these schemes. However, in March we saw the government forced on the back foot following revelations of widespread fraud at one of the main Work Programme providers and actions against high street companies involved in the Work Experience Programme.

The fact that many companies quickly responded by either withdrawing from the scheme or announcing that they were reviewing their participation shows how vulnerable the government’s workfare programme is at the moment. In addition DWP staff are now being told that referrals to workfare must be entirely voluntary on not just the Work Experience scheme for young people, but also the Sector Based Work Academies scheme and the Government’s flagship Work Programme.

Brighton Benefits Campaign has been fighting workfare since our first campaign against the Flexible New Deal in 2010. We have proved that acting against workfare gets results. But we can’t afford to be complacent – these changes are only temporary and can be easily reversed. We believe that it is necessary to build on the success so far, and break workfare before it becomes established.

We have therefore organised a conference to bring together campaigners, voluntary groups, trade unions & others opposed to workfare, to share experiences and information and to co-ordinate a sustained national campaign. All workfare, whether ‘voluntary’ or mandatory: is part of a concerted assault on welfare & public services destroys paid jobs, & undermines the pay & conditions of those already in work is an attack on real volunteering is yet another generous government handout for big business.

We invite your group to take part in building the fightback against workfare. More information here.

Full details & an online booking form can be found on our conference page  here.  If you would like more information please email or contact us on 07730 776471

Hoping to see you there.

In solidarity Brighton Benefits Campaign

Action Escalates Against Welfare Reform

April 15, 2012

Despite the passing of the Welfare Reform Bill recently resistance to it’s implementation shows no sign of dying down.  A range of actions and protests are due to take place, aimed not just at Welfare Reform, but also the savage cuts to vital services, the butchering of the NHS and the just plain cruel Remploy factory closures.

On Wednesday 18th April, disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be meeting outside McDonalds in Leicester Square at 1.30pm to take action against the benefit cuts, care funding and the Remploy closures.  Please come if you can and help spread the word.  Facebook link:

Prior to this a demonstration will take place outside the Policy Exchange Conference where lying bastard Chris Grayling will be a keynote speaker.  Meet at Microsoft, 80-100 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 5JL at 9am.

Then on Thursday a public meetings is being held to discuss the Remploy Closures.  The meeting will take place at ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY – download the leaflet for more info (PDF).

Friday 20th April will see demonstrations against the Remploy closures in Sheffield as well as a mass demo in London which will meet outside the DWP at noon before marching to Parliament.  Full details at:

There will be protests targeting fake hippy bastards Virgin on the 20/12st April due to their involvement in NHS reform – more info at:

There are workfare protests taking place in the Birmingham area on the 21st and 28th of this month – whilst a Workfare Walk of Shame will be held in Liverpool on the 28th – keep an eye on the facebook page for details at:

As previously mentioned, May Day will see a Central London day of action action against workfare – meet on the TUC March or keep an eye on the Solidarity Federation website or facebook page for more details nearer the time.  For more details on the ongoing campaigns against workfare visit:

Please help spread the word about all events, tweet, share on facebook and all that stuff.    Let’s show this toff Government of little posh boys what happens when they fuck with the working class.

Copied from

National Day of Action Against Workfare – Saturday 31st March

March 28, 2012

Resistance to workfare shows no sign of dying down with protests planned around the UK throughout the week and then next weekend.

On the 29th Boycott Workfare in Birmingham have a public meeting to discuss continued resistance to forced labour.

Then on Friday a picket called by Solidarity Federation will be held outside Holland & Barrett in Halifax from 11.30

Solfed are leading the charge on Saturday with action in both North and South London.  Meet at Lewisham Shopping Centre at 1pm or Kilburn Market from noon.

There will also be Solidarity Federation actions in Northampton from 11am, as well as Wakefield – meet in the Bullring at at 11.30am.

These coincide with the International Worker’s Association days of action called across the world.

Solfed, along with Liverpool Uncut have called a day of action in Liverpool, whilst  York Welfare Campaign will be meeting at 1pm for a tour of workfare exploiters around the city.

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are meeting at Kirkgate Shopping Centre from noon and plan to continue the drive to make workfare unworkable – they have a planning meeting on Monday 26th (details on facebook).

There will be a picket in Lincoln at 1pm, and a protest in Hastings from 11am.

In Brighton protesters will meet by the clock tower at 11am, target to be confirmed later, whilst they will hold a communications blockade of the same target on April 2nd.

An alliance of groups, including Sol Fed, BADACA, the IWW and Bristol Anarchist federation are joining together for a day of protest in Bristol town centre – meet by the bandstand in Castle Park at 1pm.  Action in Swindon will also take place, beginning at noon, meet at the War memorial.

Then on the 2nd April there will be a picket by posties and Boycott Workfare outside the offices of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who recently appeared to endorse workfare.

The Government’s workfare schemes are crumbling.  Keep kicking till they break.

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