Shut Down Workfare Exploiter Learndirect

learndirect12 noon Thursday 9th October 2014. Learndirect, 152 Morrison Steet, Edinburgh.

Forcing people to work for nothing through the threat of removing people’s benefits (sanctions) is unfair, unjust and wrong. Forced work for benefits attacks both claimants and workers in jobs. Workfare exploits jobseekers and also many sick and disabled claimants on Employment and Support Allowance. Workfare undermines all workers’ wages and conditions. Join us in taking action against workfare, benefit sanctions and the whole austerity programme.

Learndirect are the workfare providers for the compulsory “work-for-your-benefits” schemes Mandatory Work Activity and the new Community Work Placements scheme, which forces jobseekers to work for nothing for six months. Learndirect profit from the forced labour schemes and shamelessly refer jobseekers for sanctions, making people penniless to try and intimidate jobseekers to submit to forced labour.

But resistance to workfare is winning. To date 422 organisations have rejected the compulsory schemes and signed the “Keep Volunteering Voluntary” agreement – including the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Christian Aid, Shelter and the Edinburgh Volunteer Centre. This month Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty approached Cancer Research UK to urge them to withdraw from workfare – they have now told Learndirect in Edinburgh that they will not take any more of their workfare “placements”.

Learndirect are really struggling and cannot find enough placements for all the jobseekers sent to them under the new Community Work Placements scheme. Locally this workfare scheme could be near collapse. Now is the time for us to make Learndirect understand – IF YOU EXPLOIT US, WE WILL SHUT YOU DOWN!

More info on workfare at http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/node/68 and at http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=1820

To get involved in leafleting etc locally in run-up to the Week of Action contact ECAP at ecap@lists.riseup.net And do let us know about any employers using workfare