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Holland & Barrett

After H&B - Oxford Day of Action against Workfare

   On Saturday the 7th of July Thames Valley Solidarity Federation joined a host of other groups in a day of action against workfare in Oxford to mark the start of the Week of Action.

   Like many other groups on the day, we began with the dilemma of who to target. Holland & Barrett had surrendered the previous week and there were so many exploiters to choose from. Still, all were in agreement that it was a fine dilemma to have!

A domino falls: Holland & Barrett quit workfare after direct action

Campaigners are claiming a major scalp in the fight against workfare after retailer Holland & Barrett announced they were pulling out of the scheme. On hearing the news, Brighton Solidarity Federation tweeted "we've won an important battle against workfare, but the war is far from over." The announcement came just 24 hours before a planned national week of action against workfare organised by the Boycott Workfare Network. Holland & Barrett had strongly backed workfare, announcing that they were committed to taking 1,000 people on unpaid work schemes this year alone (out of a workforce of just 3,500).

Liverpool maintains the momentum against workfare

Another Saturday, another round of direct action against workfare providers in Liverpool. Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation were joined by other local anarchists and activists to picket Holland & Barrett and Argos in the City Centre. The lively pickets saw 600 leaflets distributed and a number of shoppers turned away from both stores.

When we arrived at the main Holland & Barrett store in town, the security guard immediately got on the phone to the police. When they arrived, they took no action against us, but a complaint by the manager that our picket had abused staff (a claim which was entirely untrue) suggests that the continued pressure is starting to have an effect. Whilst the response from the public varied from largely ambivalent to positive and supportive, local security were clearly extremely hostile.

Lively picket kicks off hectic month in Liverpool anti-workfare campaign

On Saturday 9 June, Liverpool Solidarity Federation called action against workfare in the City Centre. Upwards of 40 people, including members of Solfed, the Anarchist Federation and the wider anarchist community in the city, took part. We were also pleased to have local musicians on board, providing a ska/punk soundtrack to the day's activities.

Hull SF picket Holland and Barrett (26/05/12)

Hull Solidarity Federation have picketed Holland and Barrett again, on the 26th of May. From 11am to 2pm we handed out leaflets and struck up conversations with passersby and potential customers, informing them about use of 'workfare' and encouraging them not to shop there. Handing out the same leaflets we made for last time, we successfully turned away a fair few potential shoppers, whilst we estimate that our presence in official hi-visibility Solidarity Federation picket vests deterred further amounts of people through their sheer brightness in the mid day sun.

Lively Holland and Barratt protest hits Northampton

Northampton Solidarity Federation held a lively and loud protest and leafletting on Saturday outside Holland and Barratt in Northampton's busy shopping Centre. The protest was against Holland and Barrat's involvement in the Government's workfare scheme, which allows them to use unpaid labour. A number of shoppers were turned away. This was the second time in a month that the store has been targetted.

Workfare profiteers Holland & Barrett once again targeted

Re-posted from Johnny Void's blog:

Workfare campaigners staged a lively day of action in South London [on 19th May] following the call out from South London Solidarity Federation.

Snake oil salesmen Holland & Barrett, who have plans to replace around a quarter of their staff with unpaid labour, were the target on a day which also saw actions in Hackney, Brighton and Lincoln.

In Lewisham protesters met in the town centre and thwarted a heavy police and security presence outside Holland & Barrett in the shopping centre by heading to leafy Blackheath instead.

If you think the minimum wage is too generous, Holland & Barrett would love to give you a job

On Saturday 19th May Holland and Barrett once again felt the heat in Brighton and Hove as the Solidarity Federation staged a further picket just a week after the last one. This time we used the opportunity of our monthly tenants’ and workers’ rights stall to target the health food chain in George Street, Hove.

19th of May – Anti-Workfare Pickets in Reading and Oxford

On the 19th of May Thames Valley SolFed coordinated a day of action against Holland & Barrett as part of the national SF anti-workfare campaign. Pickets were held in both Reading & Oxford.

Workfare: You're putting your customers off, Mr Manager

Picketing shops can reap some rich rewards when the cause is as uncontroversial as "this lot force people to work for free." The general crowd response is along the lines of "really, they do that? What a bunch of gits." 

That sort of response to a campaign makes a grey day shine for us and makes shop managers very, very angry.

So angry in fact that the Holland and Barrett manager on Mare Street in Hackney, where North London SolFed did its latest picket in the battle to stop Workfare today, insisted on standing in his own doorway to berate us and ended up putting off nearly as many customers as we did.

There were quite a few, Mr Manager. Disapproving faces, Mr Manager. Your bottom line, Mr Manager, walking away because your firm doesn't pay its staff, Mr Manager.


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