Sat, 07/07/2012 - 20:42

Workfare: Adding to Barclays' woes

When we discovered a day before our planned Week against Workfare that Holland and Barrett had pulled out of the government's "replace paid jobs with JSA conscripts" scheme we almost found ourselves at a loose end.

We've spent months doing scary-dangerous things like handing out leaflets, waving placards and sending emails of complaint, so in the absence of H&B we had to ask ourselves, who deserves a swift kick to the ethics most this week?

Fortunately we're up on our current affairs and the answer came quickly - a Libor fixing, unrepentant banking giant led by sociopaths which is so greedy it still uses Workfare to get its menial tasks finished. Yes, we went after Barclays. Never let it be said we think small.

About 20 people took the trip to Angel station and trod the pavements of Islington, handing out leaflets, talking to the public and explaining how when a company takes on large numbers of people straight off JSA to do its unskilled jobs this is less "work experience" (the government's Orwellian newspeak) and more "removing any incentive for companies to actually pay people."

On the whole the day went swimmingly, the weather held up, the crowds were polite and best of all there was a captive audience at the bus stop just in front of the bank, who we ruthlessly showered with literature and explanations about why all these flag-wielding lefties were hanging around.

Thanks to all who turned out, along with the many many people who listened patiently and gave us a friendly grin or word of support. We'll be back in action on the 14th somewhere in Hackney - shout us on Facebook or email us at nelsf AT if you want to get involved!