Tuesday, 27 August 2013

'Boycott Workfare' disrupt Tory shysters at policy conference!

We have recently received a briefing from 'Boycott Workfare, which we are publishing in full.

"We haven't been in touch for a while, but loads of things have happened in the last few months. The action you take continues to push back workfare.

One scheme down!

The government wanted to make everyone finishing two years on the work programme do 6 months of workfare. But this plan had to be dropped - probably due to the difficulty in finding placements due to protest and pressure. It has however unfortunately been replaced by a sanctions obstacle course in the job centre for those returning. If you are returning back to the job centre after 2 years on the work programme then you can share your stories here.

A huge week of action in July

On the 9th-10th of July the workfare industry had a cosy little conference in Manchester... so we had a huge week of action instead. Not only was their fancy dinner at the Hilton picketed, but coincidentally we heard that their sleep was interrupted by up to 3 fire alarms throughout the night. 20 actions took place across the country with Marks & Spencer, who had boasted the week before that 2% of their staff are unpaid, a particular focus for action. Loads of info stalls outside job centres handed out leaflets with claimants' rights (send us an email at info@boycottworkfare.org if you want some leaflets and stickers to hand out at your local job centre).

Ruining the launch of 'in-work' sanctions

DWP ministers Mark Hoban and Freud set up a talk at workfare thinktank 'Policy Exchange' to launch their plans for extending benefit sanctions to those in work. But Boycott Workfare was there to 'ruin' their party. Watch the video here.

With the total number of sanctions this year set to exceed one million, the Civil Service Rank and File Network also took on sanctions with a week of action in August. Boycott Workfare is putting together sanctions stories too – please share yours!

Taking on the law

For twenty four hours earlier this year, all workfare schemes were unlawful. That was until the government decided to override the courts and enact unprecedented retroactive legislation to rewrite history. But Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson who took on workfare in the courts have taken it to the next level and are challenging workfare as a human rights violation in the Supreme Court. The hearing took place in July and we await the results in the next few months.

Got five minutes?

Please take a few minutes to help step up the pressure on the workfare exploiters exposed over the last few months:

Disabled People Against the Cuts week of action

Disabled People Against Cuts are organising a week of action against the government’s neoliberal policies from 29th August, culminating in a mass day of action in London on 4th September.
Save the dates and get in touch with DPAC if you or your group wants to get involved in making it happen.

Date for the diary!

We are currently organising a UK gathering for welfare action groups and individuals looking to start a group to come together on 18 January and share ideas and experiences. Get in touch with us if you'd like to be involved in making this happen - info@boycottworkfare.org and keep your eyes peeled for further information.

Let us know what you're up to and stay in touch!"

Boycott Workfare

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