Edinburgh Anarchist Federation fully endorses the national day of action called by grassroots campaign Boycott Workfare.
Join the protest in Edinburgh:
Assemble 12 noon, Hunter Square, Saturday 3rd March, to visit some nearby businesses using unpaid workfare ‘volunteers’ to work for free.
Workfare is a government scheme that makes people on benefits work for their dole.
The government and some in the media present it as a way of encouraging people back into work by gaining experience. This ignores two things – first, there are not enough jobs available for those who want them; and second, workfare placements themselves are taking jobs away from paid workers. We have no problem with people learning while working – this used to be called apprenticeships. But workfare tells the unemployed that they will lose their benefit if they do not work for their it. In every other context the minimum wage applies, so why not here?
The companies using workfare all make large profits. The work being done would need to be done anyway. By getting forced labour to do it for free, the companies’ profits will grow. Their regular workers are often on low pay themselves and find their overtime cut and pay held back because of the forced labour scheme.
Bosses prefer not having to pay for workers. Instead, we are all paying to subsidise their profits. Protests have already forced some to pull out of the scheme. Let’s make it all of them.
Find out more here, and if you’re not in Edinburgh, find an action near you
If you are unemployed, find out about your rights under the various workfare schemes
This protest has been organised by a range of local groups and individuals, including: