On Saturday a group of us formed a protest outside Poundland in Priory Meadow shopping centre Hastings against their continued use of the government's workfare scheme. Although few in number we made a very big impact. The first action was to send someone in store to put anti workfare leaflets on the store's shelves. At lot of customers pick these up and read them. We then stood outside the shop front with our banner and handed more leaflets and talked to members of the public. We got a good response and at least 15 people would not shop there after talking to us.
As part of the Solidarity Federation's ongoing campaign targeting employers who use workfare, members of North London SF today converged on Kilburn High Road.
As part of the ongoing national campaign against Workfare, Poundland on Abington Street is bracing itself for the 3rd picket in as many weeks this weekend. Please get involved and help us intensify the pressure. If you can't make the pickets there are other ways you can get involved. Contact us via the website.
We've let them know that we aren't giving up until they withdraw from the Governments forced labour scheme, and start paying ALL the workers. It seems that the staff at Pondland in Northampton are confused as to why unpaid workers are at Poundland. Its because your managers signed up for it.
On Saturday 8th September, South London Solidarity Federation
continued its campaign against Workfare, a collection of government
"Back to Work" schemes that result in unemployed people being
forced to work unpaid, undermining the conditions of all workers.
After our success in forcing Holland and Barrett to withdraw from the scheme, we decided on Poundland as our next target.
We held a picket at Poundland's shop in Brixton, We held our banners across the front of the shop, talked to its workers about our opposition to the Workfare programme, handed out leaflets, and dissuaded customers from shopping there.
Earlier today, North London SolFed targeted Poundland as part of our national campaign against workfare. Despite it being a Sunday, the High Road was fairly busy. We arrived early to set up our Stuff Your Boss stall opposite Poundland at the market and received some interest from passers by who were offered informational leaflets about their rights at work (Stuff Your Boss) and their rights as tenants (Stuff Your Landlord) as well as others.
At noon several of us entered the store to talk to the employees, to explain the reasons for our picket and the conversations we had were quite positive. Afterwards we set up our picket and began handing out leaflets to shoppers and passing members of the public. Soon we were also joined by members of other local groups and residents who happened upon our stall in the market.
On Saturday 8th September, as part of the campaign against the government’s workfare programme, members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation, the Anarchist Federation and various other local activists held a tour of some of the city’s most high-profile exploiters of the unemployed.
First stop was Poundland in Williamson Square, who recently restarted their work programme following a high-profile court case brought by students who were forced to work in one of their stores. Banners were unfurled and we immediately began engaging with the passing public, passing on information about workfare and letting them know Poundland’s role in it.
The anti-workfare campaign is building up in Reading. Over the summer, SF members organised ad hoc pickets with local IWW and AF members. We decided to build up the basis of these joint efforts through coordinated planned actions. We held an initial meeting in August at which we decided to follow SF’s national target and to build our campaign with claimants. So we are aiming to alternate actions outside Poundland and JobCentrePlus.
Three weeks ago, two of us distributed propaganda on the rights of claimants in relation to the workfare schemes outside JobCentre. It became obvious that many of them did not know about it yet. Last Saturday, we held the first picket outside Poundland, which was met with overwhelming sympathy for the campaign from workers and members of the public alike.
Friday 7th of September saw a picket of the Gateshead branch of Poundland, organised by Newcastle Solidarity Federation, against the governments highly controversial workfare scheme. Poundland seek to profit from the exploitation of what is essentially forced free labour.
Following the SolFed's successful campaign against Holland and Barretts involvement in workfare and joined by members of the Anarchist Federation and others, the demo saw massive levels of public support, with car horns being pipped and hundreds of leaflets handed out.
This is a highly loathed and highly exploitative scheme, work will continue until workfare is consigned to the dustbin.
Poundland has been targeted after it announced that it is re-launching its participation in the Workfare scheme following a recent High Court ruling in its favour. The campaign comes on the back of successful action by the Solidarity Federation and other groups and individuals against Holland and Barrett who were forced to pull out of the various schemes. We expect to keep up the same levels of pressure against Poundland in the coming weeks and months.
Newcastle Solfed will be picketing the Gateshead highstreet branch of Poundland.
232-240 High Street, Town Centre, Gateshead, NE8 1AQ
Friday 7th September 16:00
On Saturday Brighton Solidarity Federation were joined by Brighton Benefits Campaign on our first picket in the national campaign against Workfare profiteers Poundland. Over the course of two hours we handed out a thousand leaflets and struck up many conversations with the public at their North Street store. This follows the high court ruling that the DWP were within the law to force two unemployed workers out of voluntary work and into unpaid labour at the store.