Bristol Solidarity Federation were joined by Bristol Anarchist Federation and Bristol IWW to protest against Poundland's continuing participation in the Workfare Programme.
A clear message was relayed to the store management. "We will be back again and again until you formally withdraw from the scheme". When quizzed about the local use of Workfare, the store replied that anyone taken on under the scheme was treated exactly the same as anyone else employed by Poundland. So, we asked, do they get paid the minimum wage? "No they don't, they only get their benefits" Was all they could respond. Free labour for the shops, unemployment figures manipulated by the government and huge profits for the workfare placement providers like A4E.
Why Poundland? Within a short distance of East Street are many other shops that are still involved in Workfare. Others that operate in Bedminster include Asda, Greggs, McDonald’s, Poundstretcher, Savers, Shoe Zone, Super Drug and Wilkinsons. We are targetting Poundland as part of the National SF campaign. We aim apply pressure to one store at a time until they pull-out. While always have an eye on our next target.
The picket was well received by the passing public. Our message meant that quite a few customers decided to shop else where that day.
Details of the next picket will be annouced very soon.