People’s Agenda profile 16 : Boycott Workfare

Boycott Workfare have been taking on those profiting from workfare exploitation since 2010, they explain in this sixteenth People's Agenda profile

April 28, 2015 · 2 min read

boycottworkfare peoples agenda ‘We want an end to all sanctions and workfare. The campaign is powerful when it enables individuals, groups and organisations to stop workfare, while defending claimants’ rights to social security, fair pay, and peace of mind.’

Boycott Workfare is a UK-wide grassroots campaign to end forced unpaid work for people receiving welfare. It was formed in 2010 by people with experience of workfare and those concerned about its impact.

‘Workfare’ refers to the unpaid work placements that welfare claimants have to participate in to continue to receive social security. Refusing to take part leads to sanctions: withdrawal of welfare payments for up to three years. Workfare benefits the rich who control companies accepting placements of unpaid, coerced labour. It creates a claimant workforce without the legal status and rights of workers, thereby undermining the pay and conditions of all workers.

Boycott Workfare use social media and direct action to expose those profiting from workfare and to disrupt the government’s ‘wage free, welfare withdrawal’ agenda, working in solidarity with unemployed workers’ groups, claimants unions and others in the UK and internationally. We aim to challenge welfare conditionality and the imposition of unpaid work by supporting people to challenge workfare and sanctions.

We want an end to all sanctions and workfare. The campaign is powerful when it enables individuals, groups and organisations to stop workfare, while defending claimants’ rights to social security, fair pay, and peace of mind.

To find out more: @boycottworkfare

Red Pepper are running the People’s Agenda series in the run up to the General Election, demonstrating the breadth of exciting grassroots political activity in the UK.


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