Friday, 7 December 2012

Take Action this Saturday - Boycott Workfare / UkUncut

A few protests have been planned in Islington this Saturday 8th December. They're all part of the fight against austerity, cuts, capitalist exploitation, greedy bosses and anti-working class government policies. So if you haven't got any plans for this Saturday join one of the actions below.


North London SolFed are targeting businesses in Holloway against workfare in support of the National Week of Action called by Boycott Workfare, starting this Saturday the 8th.
Meet at Superdrug on Seven Sisters Road - 11am sharp and we move on from there.
Nearest tube: Arsenal or Holloway Road.

More on Workfare:
Workfare is a government scheme in which unemployed people are bullied into working for their Jobseekers' Allowance benefits. People on the Workfare scheme are forced to stack shelves for up to 30 hours a week, working out to an hourly wage of just £1.60. In response to a growing movement of opposition to the Workfare scheme, a number of companies have quit the programme, while the government has released a steady stream of untruths.

To clarify a couple of points:
-Workfare is NOT voluntary: people on the programme are often only given one week to 'twist or stick'. If they leave their placement then they face punishment via benefit sanction, as well as a stern rebuke from their Jobcentre Advisor.

-Workfare does NOT get people into jobs. A recent government report found that a shocking 3.5% of Workfarers actually find paid employment (and what percentage of those would have found work anyway?). Only around 49% of Workfarers go off of benefits (and what percentage of that is due to Jobcentre sanction?), and of those who go through the programme without finding work, there is actually an increased likelihood that they will return to benefits. The Employment Secretrary responded to this news by announcing £5m of extra funding for the scheme, demonstrating that Workfare is punishment for the unemployed, rather than an attempt to help them.

-People on Workfare do NOT gain valuable experience which helps them in the job market. Most of them end up stacking shelves in retail outlets, or working for free in charity shops.

-Workfare is NOT just an issue for unemployed people; in fact, it affects ALL of us. If the government and bosses are able to get away with paying just £1.60/hr, what will that mean for people working for a regular wage? What does that mean for the national minimum wage of £6.08/hr? And the Workfare placements are instead REAL vacancies, taking away genuine jobs from the working class.

More info here:


To highlight the vital housing services being destroyed by the government’s unnecessary cuts, we will be holding a housewarming party at the tax-dodging Starbucks at 30 Upper Street.
Housing benefit cuts, soaring rents and a massive lack of social housing are seeing families forced out of their homes and communities, and into temporary accommodation, slum housing or onto the streets. 1m more women than men are being affected by housing benefit cuts. The government says they are necessary but they are a political choice – allowing companies like Starbucks to get away with tax avoidance while the rest of us pay.
With nowhere to live, Hackney renters, housing campaigners and other fed-up Londoners will be holding a moving-in party in tax-dodging Starbucks to highlight how housing benefit cuts and failure to invest in genuinely affordable public housing are undermining our access to decent housing, and disproportionally affecting women.

Join us at the Starbucks at 30 Upper Street - opposite Jack Wills - at 2pm to transform the store into a home and celebrate our fightback with a house warming party. Bring some things (pot plants, pictures, cushions, curtains, cake) to make it feel like home and celebrate our resistance!

The Starbucks right opposite Angel Station (7 Islington High Street) will be transformed into a Rape Crisis Centre. Around 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 women are raped each year (British Crime Survey). Yet the government is planning £5.6m of cuts to services including refuges for abused women, domestic violence advocates, victim support centres and centres for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
Join us as we set up an info centre within Starbucks providing information on the services out there for women who have been raped and sexually assaulted and a space to discuss how we can continue to campaign for these services that are vital to many women.
Bring yourself, an open mind and some passion for ensuring we don't let our male dominated government take away life saving services for women.

**This protest is a symbolic transformation of a space into a vital service being cut by the government. It is in no way a replacement service where those affected by sexual violence should come to access an official support service. Those directly affected by these issues should go to:

Meeting place 7 Islington High Street (opposite Angel Tube) - Time to meet 12.00

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