...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 4073: Workfare? Workfoul?


It's entirely voluntary and the idea is supposed to be to give young people the experience of holding down a job, of getting up in the morning, of working as part of a team and so on. Just without the experience of GETTING PAID FOR IT.

I have listened to the lovely Sarah Teather defending this government scheme, and pointing out that 50% of people who try it out DO go on to get a proper job afterwards. And I've heard that the scheme is terribly popular and that people are desperate to get on it. But with record youth unemployment, YOU'D be desperate for anything that might give you an edge too, wouldn't you. And I just can't get over the NIGGLING feeling that we have MINIMUM WAGE legislation in this country for a REASON.

We already know that the minimum wage is set TOO LOW. Otherwise why do we need to have WORKING TAX CREDITS? Surely we all know that these were not just the moody monomaniac's compulsion to control who is and is not "deserving" but also Mr Frown's ADMISSION that he would rather make other taxpayers subsidise criminally low salaries than force his new chums in big business to pay a living wage. A win-win for the authoritarian friend of the millionaires!

And now we're letting them pay NOTHING and getting people to work for the price of their benefits.

OK, it's not "slave" labour because you can just walk away; but it is a BLEEDIN' LIBERTY!

If a job needs doing – and burgers DO need flipping, shelves DO need stacking – then it ought to be worth PAYING someone to do it. If your company is getting some desperate youth to do it while on the Job Seekers, then that's a PAYING JOB LOST.

Waterstones quits unpaid labour scheme
Matalan quits unpaid labour scheme
Tesco and Argos quit unpaid labour scheme
Greggs the Bakers quit unpaid labour scheme
Burger King quits unpaid labour scheme

Do you see a pattern developing here?

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