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to boycott shops that use forced unpaid labour (aka slavery)?

(356 Posts)
ChickenLickn Sat 11-Feb-12 00:07:22

These stores:

TK Maxx,
Arcadia group of stores run by billionaire Sir Philip Green, which includes Top Shop and Burton,

are all using 'workfare' schemes, forcing jobseekers to work 30 hrs/week unpaid for 6 months in profit making companies or face losing their jobseekers benefits. Mre details here.

Please avoid shopping in these shops as much as possible, this is basically slavery and is illegal under human rights law (and currently being challenged in the courts).

The good news is that Waterstones and Sainsburys have recently pulled out of the scheme.

OP’s posts: |
ShagOBite Sat 11-Feb-12 00:09:51

More concerned about their international personnel ishoos tbh.

hairytaleofnewyork Sat 11-Feb-12 00:11:02


I prefer schemes like future jobs fund, but people should be encouraged to do something rather than nothing while claiming. For too long people were left to rot.

McHappyPants2012 Sat 11-Feb-12 00:13:57

Yabu, I believe it gives people the confidence that they can do a job

ReduceRecycleRegift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:14:14

YABU, I've done lots of unpaid work placements in my time to keep myself employable.

ReduceRecycleRegift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:16:15

and I never felt like slave labour, I felt I was gaining experience and confidence, or sometimes just finding out what I DIDN'T want to end up doing so I worked harder to go in another direction.

If you're not employed (paid or otherwise) it's harder to GET employed. This scheme is a good thing, particularly for people stuck in a rut!

ShagOBite Sat 11-Feb-12 00:17:06

Surely 'forced' means they are, well, being forced to do it?

WorraLiberty Sat 11-Feb-12 00:17:47

I think you really should look up the word 'slavery' OP

McHappyPants2012 Sat 11-Feb-12 00:19:54

Nobody is force.

They have 2 choices, job based work for your benefits
Or not to be entitled to cliam benefits

animula Sat 11-Feb-12 00:20:22

But you did that by choice, Reduce, there wasn't that element of compulsion. and 6 months? Do you really need a 6 months unpaid in your "PrimarkApprenticeship" before you learn any skill that they might conceivably pay you for?
And lastly, it's undercutting the workers, too.

poorbuthappy Sat 11-Feb-12 00:20:24

Wasn't there a thread about this a while ago and it was agreed it was slave labour because of the withholding of benefits of something confused?
What's changed?

ReduceRecycleRegift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:20:36

Dear god have you read some of the sob stories on that link?, five hours work with only half an hour break? those people are really out of touch and sound like they needed to find out what the rest of us do for our money!

And I've done some of those jobs, paid, for very little more than JSA. NO sympathy whatsoever!

LittleTyga Sat 11-Feb-12 00:20:53

If they are 'working' pay them a salary - why are tax payers subsidising these companies? If companies paid their workers decent wages we wouldn't need work credits and housing benefit to top up. I don't mind the unemployed doing work experience, but if they are working all day pay them!!!!

ReduceRecycleRegift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:22:45

They're not forced, its not slavery, slaves can't get away, noone is FORCING them to claim JSA

My wages get taken away if I don't do work similar to some of that described, their JSA gets taken away if they don't do that work, not their passports, not their lives..

edam Sat 11-Feb-12 00:22:59

They are being forced to do it, that's the point. Workfare or lose your benefits. Mr Green and the other fat cats should pay people for working in their rotten stores, not rely on free labour from conscripts.

(I may be slightly bitter about Boots because they are petty tightwads - had to take a product back, got the refund, all normal and straightforward and legal - only the fuckers insisted on taking the points off my Advantage card as well.)

MrsGnits Sat 11-Feb-12 00:23:51

They get extra benefits because of Job Seeker's Allowance? If I was struggling to get a job I'd be thankful to be able to show a prospective employer that I'd done more than watch daytime TV for months. If they're good they may even get a job out of it.

I know plenty of graduates that have worked as interns completely unpaid (and at the same time not claiming benefits). They wouldn't say they were slaves.

TastesLikePanda Sat 11-Feb-12 00:24:07

People are gaining vaulable work experience... I did this 14 years ago and got a full time job out of it... and if I hadn't done it I would have not got my JSA as it was a job placement in a position that I could have easily done. I was really pleased to do it.

It's not that great for the companies involved - they have to spend time training people that probably will move on as soon as they can.

edam Sat 11-Feb-12 00:24:15

littletyga's right, essentially this is billionaires ripping off the taxpayer.

ReduceRecycleRegift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:26:59

Workfare or lose your benefits

find your own job.. or workfare or lose your benefits.

and maybe I did do my placements by choice, but in the knowledge that I'ld not be very employable without them, so not that much of a choice, you just do it and that's how you get paid employment. But lots of people on JSA don't bother to volunteer or take up free training oportunities.

ReduceRecycleRegift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:28:49

"I know plenty of graduates that have worked as interns completely unpaid"

EVERY recent grad I know that got a graduate job did internships or voluntary work experience to get it, sometimes for 2 years or so!

its just what you have to do these days, some people aren't getting it!

spenditwisely Sat 11-Feb-12 00:29:14

This is absolutely outrageous.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers "express an interest" in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked.

What if said young people are on live independently and benefit covers rent? They're not all lazy arses living off mum and dad. Typical Tory making-it-up-as-you-go policy.

carernotasaint Sat 11-Feb-12 00:31:02

6 months unpaid work is disgusting exploitation. i have a feeling that now this is finally getting the bad publicity it deserves,it wont be long before a claimant forced into this offers to do an undercover expose like a video diary or something for the Guardian while they are on the "course"

Birdsgottafly Sat 11-Feb-12 00:34:23

Op- slavery is a bit strong, i prefare the term "Workhouse without walls".

We are back to 19th Century politics.

LittleTyga Sat 11-Feb-12 00:38:41

reduce We get it alright - We all know companies exploit Grads by making them work for free and most do not get a job at the end of it - they get shunted out then he next 'intern' is in, plus the only Grads that can afford to do this are the ones whose families can support them. It's not right and it should be illegal, it's a disgusting practice that needs to stop. Fine get a Grad in to do the filing and make the coffee - but pay them fgs, at least minimum wage!

carernotasaint Sat 11-Feb-12 00:38:54

there was a similar article in the Guardian recently about a single parent claimant who had to do 3 months unpaid work experience in a care home.
So i take it all you right wingers on here who are paying through the nose for an elderly relative to live in one will be happy with this and will NOT be insisting that they reduce the fees you pay???!!!

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