• Picket of North London Hospice Shop - against their Scrooge-like workfare scheme

    This Saturday, 6 December, 12.30pm. Join us on a picket of North London Hospices shop on Wood Green High Road (Turnpike Lane end).

    Haringey Solidarity Group continues its support for claimants referred to Urban Futures as part of the hated Community Work Placement scheme.

    On a weekly basis, claimants tell us the shameful way in which they are treated by Urban Futures, the local organiser of the CWP scheme and the way in which they are then forced to spend 30 hours per week hanging around in a charity shop rather than using their time constructively creatively or in any other way they choose.

    Claimants and HSG have been campaigning against NLH's participation in the scheme for almost 3 months precisely because NLH is Urban Futures' largest partner, providing some 50 placements. We believe that if we can persuade NLH to pull out of the scheme, life will become pretty difficult for Urban Futures and the CWP scheme in the local area as around 20% of Urban Futures' placements are with NLH. They would find it very difficult to replace them quickly hitting them financially, providing some relief for claimants and raising serious questions over the whole project.

  • Urban Futures - make workfare a thing of the past

    Workfare is forced labourWe all know Community Work Placements aren’t about helping people find work. Instead, forced unpaid work and supervised job search treat the unemployed like criminals. Six months of workfare is more than twice the maximum community service sentence!

    CWP forces claimants to work for 34 hours a week – most of the time doing pointless and menial tasks. And all for £72 a week – that’s about £2 an hour. CWP is forced labour.

    Placements with no relationship to our experience or what we want, bullying and mistreatment, and pointless and menial placements - all under threat of benefit sanctions - are totally wrong.

    But together we can fight them. Know your rights, name and shame placement hosts and get involved to help end all workfare!

    Urban Futures: breaking the rules?

    Urban Futures is making money out of making people’s lives a misery. CWP shouldn’t exist in the first place, but are Urban Futures even following the rules?

    DWP guidelines state that:

    1. Placements must be of clear and demonstrable benefit to the community.
    2. Placements must give work experience and develop skills.
    3. Support for claimants should include appropriate help and workplace training.
    4. Work placements must be supervised with tasks similar to those in a normal working environment.
    5. No more than 25% of the placements they arrange should be in charity shops.
    6. Provider must establish claimants’ current job goals.
    7. Placements must not displace existing jobs.
    8. Claimants must start placement within 20 working days of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) referral.
    9. Why North London Hospice should keep its word and pull out of workfare

      The story so far of our continued campaign against the hated Community Work Placement scheme and the ongoing participation of North London Hospice

      Boycott Workfare - Real Jobs NowIn May last year, the Department for Work and Pensions launched its latest workfare scheme for the long-term unemployed – Community Work Placements (CWP). Previous schemes met with outrage when corporations, like Tesco and Poundland, were seen to be increasing their profits through the use of the free labour of the unemployed. These schemes were rightly understood as a taxpayer subsidy to employers in much the same way that in-work benefits paid to the low-paid act as a subsidy to employers who pay rock-bottom wages. Consequently, CWP focuses on charities, although private companies can take advantage. The majority of those on CWP are placed in charity shops, where they have to work 30 hours per week for six months in return for their benefits, under threat of sanctions.

      CWP serves several functions:

      • those responsible for the scheme claim that the unemployed are engaged in worthwhile activity whilst giving something back to the community
      • the threat of sanctions intimidates and disciplines claimants with the intention that they will do exactly as they are told without objection, no matter how reasonable
      • those old friends of the government, G4S, who forever have their snouts in the trough line their pockets handsomely at the expense of those with nothing. Yes, G4S runs contracts covering half the country, including Haringey. The idea that claimants on this scheme are putting something back into the community is contentious. The fact that these bastards are taking loads more out is beyond question.