(pic by Schnews)
A major victory has been scored against WorkFare- the Tory’s flagship forced labour programme. We bouched about this horrific corporate enslavement scheme last month, when uni grad Kat Reilly prepared to take the government to court regarding the matter.
Ian Duncan Smith’s unpopular pet project – to bring the logic of the Victorian workhouse to 21st century Britain (main difference: this time it’s work but no house) has been met with disgust ever since it reared it’s ugy head.
Under this spectacularly harsh programme, even by Tory standards, not even terminal illness is considered a barrier from involuntary, unpaid work at such esteemed establishments as Poundland, Superdrug and Sainsburys – terminal cancer patients with more than 6 months to live could be expected to spend their remaining months, not with family and loved ones, but instead stacking shelves or flipping burgers.
People with jobs have almost as much to fear from the scheme as those out of work. Unions and many economists see the scheme is a way of replacing waged labour with unwaged, a plan to push wages further down as part of the “race to the bottom.”
The campaign against Workfare spread like wildfire on Twitter and Facebook, demos have been held around the UK outside (and inside) participating companies, and a case had been brought against it on the grounds that Workfare was against international covenants and human rights legislation on forced labour.
And then, starting about two weeks ago, cracks started appearing in Workfare. First charities (including Scope, Marie Curie and Shelter) pulled out and condemned the scheme. After the high street charities pulled out, high street retailers started to get cold feet. Sainsburys tried to quietly extricate themselves from the scheme, Tescos, Superdrug and eventually even Poundland pulled out, leaving the Tories red faced and spluttering ‘job snobs.’