Thursday, 1 March 2012

Government does U-turn on benefit sanctions. Bosses say protests against 'Workfare Farce' is damaging our businesses!

Following crisis talks yesterday, with employers who are participating in a government work-for-your-dole scheme called 'work experience', the government caved in to demands from protesters who are now targeting firms delivering the scheme, and withdrew the threat of benefit sanctions, for those people who leave work experience placements early.

In an attempt to prevent a collapse of the controversial scheme, after some of Britain's largest firms threatened to pull out unless it was made completely voluntary, employment minister, Chris Grayling, sought to reassure employers that they were not engaged in the exploitation of young people and said that the sanctions relating to the work experience scheme would be withdrawn, but would continue to apply, to those people guilty of gross misconduct and racial abuse.

A source who was present at the meeting at the HQ of the Department of Work and Pensions, told the Guardian newspaper, that employers had said that the protests were threatening to damage the reputations of their businesses and was undermining the morale of existing staff, because of accusations that the work being offered, was not a real job.

Government ministers have sought to blame 'job snobs', 'modern-day Luddites', 'anti-capitalist extremists', and 'Trotskyists' of the Right to Work Campaign, for trying to undermine their work-for-your-dole schemes. Though he denied having given in to protesters demands, Grayling has called on people to "stand up against the Trotskyites of the Right to Work Camapaign."

As anger towards these schemes intensifies and further protests and occupations take place, Work and Pensions Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith, is blaming 'anarchists' for trying to sabotage the work experience scheme and says that protesters are out of touch. He told the press: "The kids love it, the public love it, companies love it, and we love it."

The Work and Pensions Minister, believes that too many 'kids', are obsessed with the cutlure of celebrity and that stacking supermarket shelves, even when unpaid, is better than dreaming about winning the X-Factor.

While the government announced that Airbus, Centre Parcs and HP Enterprises, had joined the scheme, HMV, said they were pulling out along with Poundland, Waterstones, Matalan, Arcadia Group, Sainsbury's, TK Maxx, Burger King and Tesco, who are now paying people on work experience who sign-off, and are guaranteeing them a job, if they prove satisfactory.

This Saturday an 'Action against Workfare' day of protest is taking place and will include groups such as 'Occupy' and 'UK UNcut'. Mark Dunk, of the Right to Work Campaign said:

"The dropping of sanctions for the work-experience scam is one battle won, but the wider fight goes on. forced unpaid work still continues in the form of mandatory work activity and the community programme. We demand that the government immediately drops not just one of its forced labour schemes but all of them."

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