Workforce isn't working, just making things worse.


Tesco has insisted that a job advert for a permanent night shift worker paying   no wages was a "mistake" after a row erupted overnight on social   networking site Twitter among angry jobseekers.


The advert, posted   on the Jobcentre Plus website, said Tesco was looking for a permanent   night shift worker in a store in East Anglia, paying just expenses and   Jobseekers' Allowance.

Furious Twitter followers riled the advert on the social networking site,   questioning how it was possible for a major supermarket to get away with   hiring someone in return for no full-time wage. Jobseekers' Allowance is   currently paid at just £53.45 per week for under 25s, or £67.50 for older   staff.


Some Tesco tweets

WOW. Great PR job, Tesco. Vacancy for night shift worker on JSA...with no salary, just expenses. #jsa


I believe the Government is rebranding Job Seekers Allowance as 'Tesco Value Wages' 



A Tesco spokesman said the store's Twitter account had received hundreds of   direct "tweets" from upset jobseekers, customers and other people,   with claims it was "exploiting" workers.

But he insisted the advert was a mistake, and should have been for work   experience, rather than a permanent job role.

He said: "The advert is a mistake caused by an IT error by Jobcentre Plus   and is being rectified. It is an advert for work experience with a   guaranteed job interview at the end of it as part of a government-led work   experience scheme.

"We take our responsibility as Britain's biggest private sector employer   seriously. This includes giving young people valuable experience of the   workplace, and 300 young people have so far gone on to get permanent   employment with us as a result of work experience in recent months, but not   as a replacement or substitute for our permanent staff.

"In general, Tesco staff receive a higher level of basic pay than any   other supermarket, without exception."

Separately, new   Government figures out on Wednesday showed thousands of jobseekers have   been made to work for four weeks without pay or risk having their benefits   removed for at least 13 weeks.

The Tesco jobs JSA row was   trending on Twitter on Thursday. Tesco's Facebook   page was also awash with angry posts.

Views: 1902

Comment by Deborah Williams on February 21, 2012 at 15:30

100+ Workfare Exploiters

List 1: Alphabetical list Primary source:

List 2:  Workfare Organised by a4e under Flexible New Deal (Holloway Branch) Primary source:

List 1: Alphabetical list

The damned:

99p stores stopped workfare 17 02 12 a4e Alpha Stream – Kent Asda ATS BHS – British Home Stores [1] Boots Burger King Burton Age Concern Alton Towers [2] Argos Asian Star Community Radio LTD Barnardos Bookers Wholesale Carillion – Kent British Heart Foundation Capability Scotland Cancer Research Chessington World of Adventures [2] DB Accident Repair – Kent DC Cleaning  Sussex Diamond Glass Medway – Kent Dorothy Perkins [1] Envirostream – Kent Evans [1] Finsbury Park Business Forum F&S Interiors – Kent Go Response – Kent Haringey Council Helen & Douglas House Hospice – Maidenhead HMV [3] Holiday Inn Holland & Barrett Gorgie City Farm Greggs the bakers JA Glover – Kent Jessup Electrical Wholesale Ltd – Kent JJ Vickers & Sons Ltd – Kent Kennedy Scott Kent Flooring Supplies – Kent Kent Space – Kent Legoland Parks [2] London Eye [2] Madame Tussauds [2] Marie Curie [4] stopped workfare as of 17 02 12 Maplin stopped workfare as of 20 02 12 Matalan Mayhem Paintball – Kent McDonald’s Medway Council Medway Tyres – Kent Miss Selfridge Mr Gleam – Sussex Newham Council Newhaven Community Development Oxfam Olympic Glass – Kent Omnico Plastics Ltd – Kent Outfit [1] Payless – Kent PDSA Pizza Hut Plumbase – Kent Poundland Poundstretcher PPDG Primark Process Plant Services Ltd – Kent RBLI Regency Guillotine – Kent Richmond Fellowship Rock Circus [2] Romney Resource Kent Royal Mail RNR Performance Cars – Kent Saffron Acres Project Sainsbury’s* stopped workfare Feb 2012 Salvation Army Savers Sealife Centres [2] Scope Scout Enterprises Servest – Kent, London Shelter [5] stopped workfare in 2011 SHOC Slough Homeless Signs & Imaging Ltd – Kent Slough Library Slough Furniture Project Southern Membranes Ltd – Kent Southern Metal Services – Kent southern Roofing & Building Supplies – Kent Stephens Fresh Food – Kent Superdrug Swan Lifeline – Windsor Tesco Thorpe Park [2] Topman [1] Topshop [1] The Range – Sussex TK Maxx* Town and Country Cleaners Kent Wallis [1] Warwick Castle [2] Waterstones* stopped workfare Feb 2012 Westvic Enamellers – Kent WHSmith Whittingtons Silk Flower & Plant Centre – Kent Wilkinsons

Tens of thousands of unemployed people made to work without pay

Latest Workfare statistics: (15 Feb 2012)


*Oganisations reported to have withdrawn from Workfare

Comment by Deborah Williams on February 21, 2012 at 15:38

Here's a good article from the wesite


UPDATE :Job Centre Plus and DWP = Work for nothing or get nothing? A few facts.


News just in...The Head Office of JC Plus and DWP cannot define the job role of an "adviser".  This has been received by one of our contributors in writing. More to come , stay tuned.

Working full time for Job Seekers Allowance .. "Workfare" and the back to work scam,

After  even short periods of claiming Job Seekers Allowance Job Seekers can be told they are being put forward for a job or "work trial" which according to JC Plus must be a genuine vacancy and the applicant must be the one chosen for the job.

This does not appear to be the case as those who contacted  us have  worked for nothing for a month and then been laid off. This is of course great for the partner companies who arrange these "placements" and of course for the "employers"  who are benefitting from the slave labour.

This definitely is  slave labour when the employee works for nothing or their £65 JS allowance to which they are entitled to have anyway.

If you do consent to this it  makes you open to their third party agreement to work for nothing in a completely unsuitable job which of course will turn out to be a free labour for one of their "partner" companies who can farm you out to their corporate clients like Tescos to work for nothing.

The main point is that compliance with this deviation from the Job Seekers agreement is not mandatory.

It all requires your consent and signature. You can state that the original agreement is in place. The Jobseekers act states that any change from a Job Seekers  agreement  has to be agreed and signed by both parties (see powerful extracts from the job seekers act article)

It also helps to state that this is slave labour. Then you can mention the status of the companies below. The government is using this scam to hide the true unemployment figures. The partner companies are also gaining from this partnership with the Job Centre and DWP. It is also creating more useless jobs within these companies who are employ staff who are not qualified to give advice or training.

Most Job Centre employees are unaware of all this and once informed of this and their complicity and  may decide not to try to coerce you again. From information received through the site most Job Centre staff do not know or have not even read the Job Seekers Act. No one in Job Centre Plus has any authority to carry out any action which you do not consent too. When confronted they may go and ask their manager who again will have no authority to carry out any action which you do not consent too. You can also mention that no future meetings with advisers are necessary as they are not qualified to give advice. The only role of Job Centre staff is to collect your signature for the DWP and treasury. They have no professional authority, this is why  they show you that they have signed you on by letting you witness

Comment by Deborah Williams on February 21, 2012 at 15:41

Comment by Deborah Williams on February 21, 2012 at 15:48

Well done these guys above, who blocked the whole of Tescos near the houses of Parliament. Love the slogans too!!

Comment by Deborah Williams on February 21, 2012 at 20:11
Tuesday 21 February 2012

Tesco backs down – protest works!

Right to Work is pleased that our campaign, alongside others, has forced Tesco to make a new offer over work placements. Congratulations to all An occupier at Tesco store with exploitation placard.those who joined the demonstrations, wrote to Tesco or took part in some way. This is your achievement – protest works.

We have been told by a Tesco spokesperson that it will mean that thousands of young people who were previously unpaid will now receive the same wages as Tesco staff – that is apparently just over the minimum wage.

We are also pleased that those taken on will be offered a permanent job at the end of their placement so long as they are “satisfactory” – although we await full clarification of what that means.

The battle for real jobs, and against workfare goes on.

Tesco was a particularly gross example of a much wider problem. If its bosses can see the failings of the scheme, it is time for the government to entirely withdraw it, and to start investing in real jobs paid at a decent rate.

Right to Work sends a warning to other corporations who are using unpaid labour. We will not only pressure the government but will move on to protest at you.

The protests planned for tomorrow go on. We are calling on campaigners to meet up at Tesco as planned, hold a short victory rally and then agree a new target which uses workfare.

As we produce this statement the number of companies that are pulling out of Workfare is growing. It appears that Matalan and Superdrug have withdrawn. We will produce a list of those companies still using Workfare and suggest that protestors select from one of them on Wednesday. It appears that McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Poundland and British Home Stores remain involved in Workfare and should expect protestors at their doorstep soon.


Comment by Deborah Williams on February 22, 2012 at 10:19

21 February 2012 Last updated at 17:09



Tesco and Argos express work scheme concerns

Nick Clegg Nick Clegg said the scheme would help protect the unemployed from loneliness and depression

Related Stories

Stores including Tesco and Argos have expressed concerns over a government work experience scheme which has been derided by critics as "slave labour".

The "sector-based work academy scheme" lets those on unemployment benefit work for a period without losing payments.

But Argos says it wants assurances that young people who do not take part will keep their benefits and Tesco has offered to pay those on placements.

However, the government insists the scheme is an "excellent" opportunity.

The comments come on a day when the government has launched a separate £126m scheme which gives companies cash incentives to take on and train more teenagers with poor qualifications.

The number of 16 to 24-year-olds who are out of work has risen above one million for the first time, leading to concerns they could become a "lost generation" in employment terms.

'Confidence boost'

The sector-based programme offers the long-term unemployed work experience or training, while providing financial incentives to employers.

If jobseekers choose to take part but then fail to turn up without good reason their benefits could be removed. This has led critics to question whether the placements are really "voluntary".

The scheme has attracted adverse publicity recently, with opponents claiming large companies are using it for cheap labour.

Tesco job advert A Tesco job advert caused outrage

Tesco posted a job advert looking for permanent night-shift workers at its branch in Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, in exchange for jobseeker's allowance "plus expenses".

However, it removed this from the Jobseekers' Plus website after an outcry. The company said the advert had been placed due to an IT error.

Sainsbury's, and several other firms, are now not taking part in the scheme.

And, on Tuesday, Tesco wrote to the Department of Work and Pensions suggesting that, to avoid any misunderstanding about the voluntary nature of the scheme, the risk of losing benefits that currently exists should be removed.

The company has also announced that from now on any young person accepted for work experience will be offered an alternative. Under this they can be paid by Tesco for a four-week placement, with a guaranteed permanent job at the end of it, provided they perform satisfactorily.

'No qualms'

Tesco UK's chief executive Richard Brasher said: "We know it is difficult for young people to give up benefits for a short-term

Comment by Deborah Williams on February 22, 2012 at 20:57

Comment by Deborah Williams on April 1, 2012 at 0:38

Holland & Barrett Face Angry Pickets Across the UK

Protesters outside the Catford branch of Holland & Barrett.

Fake health food store Holland & Barrett faced angry demonstrations at 20 different locations today as part of a National Day of Action Against Workfare.

Despite Employment Minister Chris Grayling misleading both the public and parliament alike, workfare continues under several schemes including the flagship Work Programme.

Holland and Barrett are set to recruit 1000 people to work in their stores without pay over the next year under threat of benefits being removed.

Solidarity Federation issued the call out and groups across the UK took part.  They were joined by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, Boycott Workfare, Brighton Benefits Campaign, the Glasgow Crutch Collective and other grassroots claimant groups.

In South London a heavy security presence in Lewisham Shopping Centre was outwitted when protesters moved down the road to Catford where a noisy demonstration began outside the local Holland & Barrett.  The store closed as hundreds of leaflets were given out.  Many people passing supported the need to take action against forced labour, particularly in a borough which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Protesters vowed to keep coming back until Holland &  Barrett reject workfare in all it’s insidious forms and pay their staff a proper wage.

Pickets and protests also took place in Kilburn, Bournemouth, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Halifax, Hastings, Huddersfield, Inverness, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle Northampton, Stroud, Swindon, Truro, Wakefield and York.

There’s more action on Monday April 2nd,  with a protest at the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Headquarters called by rank-and-file postal workers and Boycott Workfare over the CWU’s apparent support for workfare.

Demonstrators pictured below picket workfare exploiters Holland & Barret in Kilburn, North London.

Keep an eye out for future protests outside their stores, in the meantime boycott the bastards.

Comment by Deborah Williams on May 22, 2012 at 20:58

Could The Work Programme Really Be Increasing Unemployment?

The figures speak for themselves – the Work Programme isn’t working.  Yesterday’s report by the Welfare to Work industry reveals that only 22% of long term unemployed people bullied onto the Work Progr...  Of those many will be in temporary work.

Chris Grayling claimed that 36% of people on the Work Programme would gain sustainable long term employment.  Yesterday’s figures reveal this is little more than a fantasy.

Of more concern however is the figure given in the Telegraph today (thanks Eric) which reveals officials would have expected 28% of long term unemployed people to have found work without any help at all.  This means that the Government’s flagship Work Programme is not just under-performing, it appears to be making the problem of long term unemployment worse.

This almost appears counter-intuitive.  How could a multi-billion pound scheme, carried out by experts in the Welfare to Work field like A4e, actually be creating higher unemployment?

The recent drop in the unemployment count may be a blip and is entirely due to full time jobs being replaced with part time positions.  But still long term unemployment is rising.  The very problem the Government is throwing billions at is getting worse.  Worse even than if they weren’t throwing billions at it.

The Work Programme scheme does not exist in a vacuum and is one of several schemes designed to ‘help’ unemployed people into work.  Almost all of these schemes have workfare at their heart.  Whilst sanctions have temporarily been removed from some of those schemes, possibly hundreds of thousands of people are currently working for free in supermarkets and High Street stores.

The DWP claim they don’t know how many people are on workfare schemes as what the Work Programme providers are actually doing for their billions is shrouded in secrecy.

When the workfare row blew up perhaps one of the most illuminating excuses from corporate workfare exploiters came from Argos, who claimed they only use workfare during the Christmas rush.  This was a clear example of real jobs being replaced by unpaid labour, funded by the tax payer.  Temporary seasonal jobs are the kind of roles which companies may have been more likely to offer to the long term unemployed.  Perhaps some of those people would have been offered permanent positions.  These kinds of jobs and opportunities have disappeared due to workfare.

Common sense dictates that unpaid labour is almost certainly one of the reasons that the Work Programme, and all the other workfare schemes, appear to be doing more harm than good.

But could the problems run even deeper than that.  Successive governments have sought to blame the unemployed for unemployment, a useful lie which benefits both government and business alike.  Governments get to pass the buck for fucking up the economy and the demonisation of the unemployed allows greedy bosses to drive down wages.  As people become ever fearful of the murderous stigma that is now attached to claiming benefits, competition for the few jobs out there increases and therefore wages come down.

However the recent Work Programme figures suggest a problem with the current scapegoating of the unemployed.  If it is unemployed people’s own fault they are out of work, and long term unemployment is increasing for those on Work Programme, then what the fuck is the flagship Government scheme doing to them that means they are unable to find work?

Of course this kind of thinking is bogus, but ministers can’t have it both ways.  Following the logic of Iain Duncan Smith and his bunch of clowns at the DWP, the Work Programme appears to be demotivating people, increasing idleness and making people work less hard to find jobs.

Whilst it is shameful to blame the unemployed for unemployment, government schemes like the Work Programme do have real and tangible impacts on people’s lives.  It is entirely possible that being patronised, bullied and lectured at by A4e jobsworths is damaging people’s self-esteem and confidence.  It is also possible that the Job Search facilities offered by the  Welfare to Work industry are no better than those available at home or in libraries, the only difference being that in those environments they can be used in peace.  It is not unimaginable that people on workfare, or pointless fake training schemes, become not only institutionalised, but stuck in a rut and are less, not more likely to look for an alternative.  It is therefore even possible that the Work Programme is increasing, not decreasing, dependence on the state.

There are other factors that could be at play.  A recent comment from Dave L on this blog says:

“It’s a complete waste of time, in all the appointments I’ve had I’ve had absolutely no help, none at all. Last bit of ‘help’ was a cover letter that they thought was brilliant that contained lines such as “friends and family would say I’m a good worker”… I have work history too, so why put that?”

This is an all too familiar description of life at Welfare to Work companies.  Shoddy CVs, poor covering letters, badly trained staff, broken computers and unemployed people forced to send off mass applications for jobs which aren’t suitable, are all too common criticisms.  Perhaps the ‘help’ offered by poverty pimps like A4e is worse than no help at all when it comes to finding work.

To further compound the problem, many people currently having their time wasted on the Work Programme may have previously been on courses at local colleges which provided real skills.  Depending on which Work Programme shark they are sent to, they may have been forced to leave College to attend A4e.  This has been a feature of compulsory Welfare to Work schemes ever since Blair brought in the New Deal way back in the late 90s.  That, like Work Programme, was a dismal failure.

Unemployed people need and deserve support.  This means access to computers and the internet, advice on career options, as well as more practical provision such as fares for interviews, tools or clothing needed for work.  It also means real training, not the airy fairy vague bullshit offered by the Welfare to Work industry where IT training means little more than being told how to turn on a computer and any other training is virtually non-existent.

Where are the training courses for the long term unemployed to become plumbers, hairdressers, IT workers or classroom assistants?  They once existed, but in this neo-liberal brave new world training as a nurse, carpenter or midwife is not an economically viable option for most people over the age of 20.  As for the idea of education as a life long process, the big lie fed to my generation, forget it.

The Welfare to Work industry has deskilled the training sector in the UK, forcing unemployed people onto ever more pointless ‘jobsearch’ courses and workfare instead of providing real training.  They’ve done this because it’s far cheaper to pay someone little more than the minimum wage to run CV Workshops than it is to provide quality acredited training that would lead to real jobs.  Once again the private sector has been allowed to run rampant providing public services.  And once again the only people who have benefited have been the multi-millionaires who run the Welfare to Work racket.

Comment by Henry (Aitch) Cox on May 24, 2012 at 1:18

Perhaps Tesco should follow the US example?

Aitch :)

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