Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’


by Newswire    
8:30 am - February 17th 2012

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Another retailer has pulled out from the government’s exploitative ‘workfare’ scheme – that forces unemployed people into non-paying jobs.

The discount retailer TK Maxx told the Guardian yesterday:

We take our responsibilities as a retailer and employer very seriously and work with a number of bodies that help people get into work. We do not currently support compulsory non-paid work experience in our business.

This follows Sainsbury’s and Waterstones also pulling out from the scheme recently.

After yesterday’s furore, Tesco said the DWP had mistakenly marked the job ad ‘permanent’ even though it was a temporary arrangement.

But the company is still refusing to pull out of the exploitative scheme.

Joanna Long from the campaign group Boycott Workfare yesterday sent out this statement:

Tesco counts its profits in the billions yet is getting thousands of people’s work for nothing. This is bad news for jobseekers who risk having the pittance that is JSA stopped if they refuse to take part. It is also bad news for paid staff – as workfare on an industrial scale is seeing overtime cut and staff sent home.

Boycott Workfare are now planning a UK-wide day of action against ‘workfare’, in conjunction with UKuncut, on 3rd March.

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Another retailer has pulled out from the government’s exploitative ‘workfare’ scheme

Sunny

I know you see yourself as some sort of latter day Joseph Goebbels with the Toy party taking the role of the German jews.

But it was clearly pointed out yesterday, amid the moronic tweeter rampage, that the current policy in which companies give unemployed youngsters work experience was a labour initiative.

http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/occasional/OP015.pdf

I do not support workfare, but I don’t think that is what this is. And it’s certainly not the extension of capitalism into slavery you infer.

Incidentally I have now judged the “hyperbolic idiot” competition from yesterday’s thread and it goes to

Labour camps for the blood sucking parasites at Tesco

Congratulations to Jim.

Is liberal conspiracy just a caricature for the looney left?

Is it in any way justifiable to pay people benefits and expect them to do nothing for it at all? Whilst you may consider workfare some form of enforced labour, taxpayers are paying for these benefits, and last time I checked all these companies pay taxes…let alone the fact that getting people into employment even for limited periods aids benefits their CV and experience and can aid them getting back into mainstream employment.

3. So Much For Subtlety

So what is the upshot of this? Some young people on the dole have been robbed of a chance to move into real work and improve their life because some other people on the Left could not bear to see a private business employ people cheaply?

How is this a good result?

4. Chaise Guevara

@ 2 Tyler

“Is it in any way justifiable to pay people benefits and expect them to do nothing for it at all?”

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re talking about able-bodied adults here. OK: yes, it is justifiable. Ideally, people should be using JSA to support them while they look for jobs. If you were made unemployed and needed a stipend to tide you over for say, three months, while you found another job, I’d say that forcing you to work full-time for that stipend would be a rather churlish way of making a stupid point. Especially as taking 45-50 hours out of your day would make it harder for you to find an actual job.

Or are you talking about long-term unemployed? Different matter. I personally agree that able-bodied unemployed people should be found basic-level jobs, possibly in street-cleaning and the like, if they’ve been on benefits for a certain amount of time (maybe six months) and still haven’t found work. BUT: they should be paid properly for this work, not £1-something an hour. That could mean working 10 hours a week for JSA or 40 hours a week for £200.

It really doesn’t bode well for your grasp of the political spectrum that you think anyone opposed to letting companies employ people for less than £2 per hour must be on the “loony left”.

5. Chaise Guevara

@ 3 SMFS

“How is this a good result?”

Because now those companies will be offering real jobs, not replacing all their low-level new roles with freebie staff.

How on earth are you supposed to support the job market if you provide a massive disincentive against employing paid worker?

Because now those companies will be offering real jobs, not replacing all their low-level new roles with freebie staff.

Maybe. Or perhaps not offering “real” jobs, because the value of these workfare positions was marginal to them, and would not be worth it as a formal permanent position.

7. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 TimJ

“Maybe. Or perhaps not offering “real” jobs, because the value of these workfare positions was marginal to them, and would not be worth it as a formal permanent position.”

In some cases, yes. But unless you think this is going to be true of every single workfare placement, then this scheme is going to depress the jobs market.

And it won’t be. If you were an employer, at a time of low business confidence and high unemployment, and you could fill unskilled positions for free or for £200-odd per week, which would you choose? Some WILL go for the latter, as they’ll decide that you get what you pay for. But the more penny-pinching and less picky companies will no doubt leap at the chance to get free labour. And it’s those less picky companies that would otherwise be a godsend to someone with a scrappy employment history (or criminal record etc) trying to get back onto the jobs ladder.

If you were an employer, at a time of low business confidence and high unemployment, and you could fill unskilled positions for free or for £200-odd per week, which would you choose?

From the employers point of view, having young people in to a place of work for a few days is an absolute nightmare. By the time you’ve done the H&S induction and shown them what you want them to do, they’re gone. And you are still doing the paperwork weeks later.

This scheme is almost certainly being subsidised by Tesco.

@8 Doesn’t seem to impede Primark from almost exclusively employing young people.

10. Chaise Guevara

@ pagar

“From the employers point of view, having young people in to a place of work for a few days is an absolute nightmare. By the time you’ve done the H&S induction and shown them what you want them to do, they’re gone. And you are still doing the paperwork weeks later.”

It’s not for a few days. And the above would be equally true regardless of whether you’re paying them.

Pagar @ 1

Incidentally I have now judged the “hyperbolic idiot” competition from yesterday’s thread and it goes to…

Not this, then.

I know you see yourself as some sort of latter day Joseph Goebbels with the Toy party taking the role of the German jews.

Nobody who reads this blog with any regularity will be surprised to see the board’s pet ‘Libertarian’ take the side of the Multi Nationals versus the unemployed. Freedom from having to pay to get your own fucking shelves stacked? Yep, number one priority for you guys, eh?

Tesco is a huge concern with billions of quid turnover making nearly two billion quid in profit a year. They are more than capable of recruiting, training and retaining staff they need. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this scheme, the last people in the private sector who are in ‘need’ of free labour are Tesco.

Cards on the table, Pagar. I do not believe that any organisation should have access to forced labour under any circumstances, and I would argue against such a move in principle. However, I can see a certain internal logic, if we suspend our objections, to say a Woolworths or Peacocks getting free labour to tide them over a period of administration, for example. Although I would still have a problem with it on so many levels, I would at least concede that there could be a bit of logic behind that move.

Last week there was outrage when Euromillionaires were found to be getting benefits of one sort or another. Ditto regarding winter fuel payments and child benefit for millionaires etc. Their ‘conscience’ should force them to hand back the whole lot was the general consensus.

However, here are some of the richest people in business, not just Tesco, being given unlimited access to cheap, forced labour. And people are happy with that? I expect nothing more from those on the Right who believe our corporate masters have the right to buy and sell us like chickens, but the rest of us need to look at the bigger picture. No one at Tesco, from the boardroom down to café supervisor sees this as a matter of conscience? No objection on moral grounds to a huge public subsidy?

That doesn’t bother you? Seriously, doesn’t bother you that millionaires get free access to a labour source, created by Government incompetence, and a use of that labour source actually takes the heat of the Government. Where is the moral hazard there?

Where is the incentive for government to ensure that our economy creates jobs, if they can farm out that surplus labour out to millionaires? Where is the incentive for successful employers to create jobs if they get labour for free? I, for one find that outrageous, and I find the attitude of highly successful business cynical use of this ‘slave labour’ absolutely repugnant.

I am not surprised at the type of scum that support this move. A generation ago, high unemployment meant unpopular government, now high unemployment means unpopular unemployed people. The Tories and there foot soldiers in the media have successfully used propaganda to turn it round, and made the unemployed and the disabled the whipping boys for a Nations problems, fair enough. The unemployed are to be taken out and publicly humiliated for the ritual two-minute hate of neatly formed rank and files of the slope headed Daily mail reading masses. The Left are at least as much to blame for this turn of events. That doesn’t make it right though. Everyone with a conscience (Left, Right and Centre) need to realise that unemployment is a function of the market. We have had unemployment in this Country for centuries before we had unemployment benefit. We had paupers, beggars and workhouses long before we had DSS grants. Some of us know that and remember it, other know it and ignore it still others are just too fucking stupid to understand that.

So here is the deal, Pagar, look at the type of terms used when someone gets ‘too much benefits’, well Tesco are applying for and getting too much benefits. If someone on forty grand a year benefits is a scrounger, what about someone earning one and a half billion quid, getting a small army of free labour?

Tim J @ 6

Maybe. Or perhaps not offering “real” jobs, because the value of these workfare positions was marginal to them, and would not be worth it as a formal permanent position.

Then, by your own definition, the training they are receiving is worthless. If they are ‘training’ to do something that the company has no wish to pay for, how can that possibly translate into marketable skills?

The government may as well put these people in Porta-cabins in rows of desks and hand out colouring books and crayons.

Pagar @ 8

This scheme is almost certainly being subsidised by Tesco.

They are not doing this for the kindness of their heart, Pagar. Tescos do nothing that doesn’t bring them advantage in some form or another there is nothing wrong in that, by the way, they don’t donate to charity for altruistic reasons, for example. They are (or think they are) getting more out of this than they put in, else they wouldn’t do it.

Chaise @ 4

I personally agree that able-bodied unemployed people should be found basic-level jobs, possibly in street-cleaning and the like, if they’ve been on benefits for a certain amount of time (maybe six months) and still haven’t found work.

Chaise, unemployment is part of the economic landscape of the Country. Perhaps, not a nice part of it, perhaps wasteful, destructive or any other attribute, including necessary we would add, but it is a symptom of something else, not an end in its self. Unemployment has been part of our system since day one. It has been built into our system since the early eighties, when Thatcher had her sojourn into monetarism, and has been an essential cog ever since.

If someone is unemployed for a long term, we do not help that by pushing other people out of the workforce or forcing people to work for welfare benefits. If there is work to be done, then we should employ people to do it. Imagine if you will a natural disaster to hit this Country, say a flood. The Government of the day look at flood defences and think, that will cost millions to employ people. So, instead the fire up interest rates, create an army of unemployed people then conscript them into a labour force to create flood defences on the cheap. Would that be fair? Mass unemployment in America provided a cohort of young poor angry men, that Bush used to flatten Iraq.

Unemployment needs to hurt the government of the day, not provide them with handy ways out of problems.

Welfare is a completely different function in society. We did not create welfare to generate unemployment, but to alleviate problems that unemployment creates.

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 14 Jim

I agree that there’s a risk of removing “real” jobs this way, so I’d prefer for these jobs to be things that otherwise wouldn’t be done, or would be done by volunteers. Obviously that could be hard to litigate for in practice.

Good point RE the potential for strategic abuse by government, I hadn’t thought of that.

@ Chaise

It’s not for a few days.

“The supermarket giant has said that the advert was an IT error, and that the position was not permanent but offered three night shifts of “valuable work experience” in exchange for Job Seeker’s Allowance, with a guaranteed interview at the end.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/16/tesco-jsa-expenses-modern-slavery-wages-dwp-_n_1281298.html?ref=uk

Pagar says

I do not support workfare

Jim says

Nobody who reads this blog with any regularity will be surprised to see the board’s pet ‘Libertarian’ take the side of the Multi Nationals versus the unemployed.

They should be, were I to do so.

Tescos do nothing that doesn’t bring them advantage in some form or another there is nothing wrong in that, by the way, they don’t donate to charity for altruistic reasons, for example.

You’re certainly on a roll, mate.

http://www.actionforall.org.uk/Communitygrants/FundingAlerts/fundingalerts/tescocharitytrust

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 16 pagar

“The supermarket giant has said that the advert was an IT error, and that the position was not permanent but offered three night shifts of “valuable work experience” in exchange for Job Seeker’s Allowance, with a guaranteed interview at the end.”

I’m not talking about a single disputed example, I’m talking about the whole idea. There’s no reason to assume that jobs like this would generally be only for a few days.

“You’re certainly on a roll, mate.”

Um, how is that supposed to counter Jim’s claim that “[Tesco] don’t donate to charity for altruistic reasons”? Note the last three words.

@ pagar

As far as I can see from the link you provide, the nearest equivalents to this policy under Labour were

1 – subsidising employers for a defined period, in order to move unemployed people into *paid* work

2 – requiring unemployed people to do work experience in the voluntary sector, including a training element, for JSA + £15 a week

Neither of which really compares to requiring unemployed people to work for a commercial organisation just to keep receiving their benefits.

It’s interesting, though, that right-wingers are now struggling to decide whether a) Labour turned long-term unemployment into an attractive lifestyle choice by handing out generous benefits to anyone who asked for them, no strings attached, or b) Labour pursued the coalition’s policy of requiring the long-term unemployed to work full-time in Poundland or Tesco just to retain £60 a week JSA.

Pagar @ 17

You’re certainly on a roll, mate.

Wow, it must have taken you hours of searching to tease secret donation out of Tesco, given the fact that it is paid out via pure altruism and all. I bet you needn’t have typed ‘Tesco Charity’ into a search engine or anything as crass as that? An FOI request? I wonder what the press office think of the fact that you manage to weedle the truth out of them?

Read what I said, Pagar, I have never claimed that Tescos or anyone else, for that matter, never gave to ‘charidee, but-I-don’t-like-to-talk-about-it’, I said they never give to charity for ‘altruistic reasons’.

Everyone is aware that multi nationals give money to charity, but there is always a genuine advantage to it. Fair play to them, but they want to seen to be giving to charity. They are happy to be seen photographed with childhood cancer victims or whatever for the publicity. I am not knocking them for that, BTW, I am happy that they do these things and sponsor events, but let us not pretend they get nothing out of it. Sometimes it can be that the owner of the company lived in a Barnadoes home, or their child’s life was saved at Great Ormond Street or it may be pure cynicism; a bit of Astroturf, perhaps, but there is always an element of payback. There would be nothing stopping Tescos giving money to charity completely anonymously, of course, but then they would be open to a charge that they never give to charity.

Of course, when that ‘Charity’ is Nigel Lawson’s anti Global Warming charity, they attempt to keep that quiet.

Chaise @ 15

I agree that there’s a risk of removing “real” jobs this way, so I’d prefer for these jobs to be things that otherwise wouldn’t be done, or would be done by volunteers. Obviously that could be hard to litigate for in practice.

No, Chaise, not quite. If it ‘wouldn’t be done’ then there is a reason for that, if it would be done by volunteers, then why are we displacing ‘volunteers’ from activities?

Take something street cleaning. Lets say we pay a company to clean the street, but they are leaving the place like a shit hole. Why should we give them people from the Todt organisation to protect their profits? Surely we have the ability to invoke a penalty clause, fuck them out on their ear and hire someone with sense to do the job correctly?

Benefits should be based on need, not whether someone ‘deserves’ them. Everyone who is capable should be expected to look for work but benefits are not something which should be conditional on that.

And nobody in the 21st Century should be forced to work for modern slave owners, nor should tax payers subsidise employers who refuse to pay workers less than they are worth, whether here or abroad.

23. Chaise Guevara

@ 21 Jim

“No, Chaise, not quite. If it ‘wouldn’t be done’ then there is a reason for that”

Which in many cases is “companies can’t use it to turn a profit and the state doesn’t have enough workers to do it”. The above solves this. I really don’t know what your problem is here.

“if it would be done by volunteers, then why are we displacing ‘volunteers’ from activities?”

Priorities. Better to have everyone doing a job than one person doing two jobs (one of them as a volunteer) and one person not having a job at all. Volunteers normally sign up to fill a void; if that void can be filled while creating employment at the same time, that’s even better.

“Take something street cleaning. Lets say we pay a company to clean the street, but they are leaving the place like a shit hole. Why should we give them people from the Todt organisation to protect their profits? Surely we have the ability to invoke a penalty clause, fuck them out on their ear and hire someone with sense to do the job correctly?”

Dunno, go ask someone who thinks we should.

Pagar: firstly, a paper proves nothing – you’ll have to show me actual examples.

Secondly, even if it had been Labour policy (actually, the FJF programme was different) – I’d have no problems opposing it. I didn’t agree with a fair bit of what last Labour govt did. So, erm, nice try but no cigar.

@ Chaise

Look, I fully understand this is not a black and white well-defined area. There are all sorts of things to consider.

There will as you say be some people through disability who can never work, and at the other end of the scale people like those in the guardians attack on the HB cap who are getting over 40k a year in HB alone…and all sorts in between.

Looking at the more “regular” unemployed you will also get a myriad of reasons. Some will be there for reasons of misfortune, and frankly won’t need much encouragement to return to the jobs market when they can.

The there will be those without skills – where this type of scheme I think really can help. I myself worked for nothing for a short while at a bike shop as my first job at 16. When I had learnt enough as a mechanic they employed me at weekends and holidays as I had shown I coulf now do the job and was worth hiring for them in financial terms. After that experience I had no trouble getting other holiday jobs in other bike shops for years afterwards, based on my skills and experience. There really is something to this work experience thing on the CV when applying for jobs.

Lastly, I don’t disagree with you saying we should have people on JSA doing usefuyl things like street sweeping or community service. Leaving aside that there are costs involved with that (but civic benefit too – let’s assume they cancel out at worst) the real question is this;

Should a JSA-mandated street sweeper suffer removal of some of his benefit if he doesn’t turn up, just as someone more conventionally employed lose his job if he/she didn’t?

If you agree, then really you can’t totally disagree with such a policy – that people have to contribute in some way to receive their reward, be it only JSA. If you disagree then what do you do with the people who simply don’t bother as there is no motivation or punishment for them to do so?

Personally I believe that people should contribute, and in many cases benefits have become a lifestyle choice directly or through barriers to entry, and instilling some kind of generally accepted view that people should work and have a work ethic isn’t a bad thing. There will always be exceptions, but having generations of people who have never held a job or contributed anything to society is not something we should aim for or be proud of.

26. Chaise Guevara

@ 25 Tyler

Looks like we’re closer to being on the same page than I thought; apologies for earlier snarkiness.

“The there will be those without skills – where this type of scheme I think really can help. I myself worked for nothing for a short while at a bike shop as my first job at 16. When I had learnt enough as a mechanic they employed me at weekends and holidays as I had shown I coulf now do the job and was worth hiring for them in financial terms. After that experience I had no trouble getting other holiday jobs in other bike shops for years afterwards, based on my skills and experience. There really is something to this work experience thing on the CV when applying for jobs.”

True. I think the current scheme has value in terms of giving people work experience and even just getting lazier claimants off their backsides – constant lethargy is habit-forming. The problem is that this value is absolutely wiped off the map by the following downsides:

1) I can’t see how we can justify employing people for about 1/4 of the minimum wage.
2) It’s harder to job hunt, or pursue adult education, when you’re working full time. So this scheme woul- be counter-productive to someone who is genuinely trying to find employment but has been unlucky.
3) Vitally, the creation of this scheme destroys the very jobs it’s supposed to train people for. You might work for free at a bike shop and gain relevant experience, but why would the bike shop later hire you when it can just pick up another unemployed person for free? Sure, it might work out for some individuals, but it’s simply crazy to create an employment program than cuts the total number of entry-level jobs.

Considering the above, it seems clear to me that the scheme is designed as a crowd-pleaser, not as a serious way of addressing unemployment. And yes, I know that’s the genetic fallacy, but it has implications for the amount of trust we can put in the government that created it.

“Should a JSA-mandated street sweeper suffer removal of some of his benefit if he doesn’t turn up, just as someone more conventionally employed lose his job if he/she didn’t?”

Absolutely. You could either run this on a day-by-day basis (after your third sick day without a doctor’s note or a job interview invitation, you lose 1/5 of your JSA for the week if you skip work), or as a general system where continual poor attendence will eventually get you sacked and your benefits cut to absolute subsistence level. I prefer the first, it’s less dangerous.

“If you agree, then really you can’t totally disagree with such a policy – that people have to contribute in some way to receive their reward, be it only JSA.”

Agreed, although I see no harm in allowing a grace period where it’s assumed you’re honestly looking for work.

“Personally I believe that people should contribute, and in many cases benefits have become a lifestyle choice directly or through barriers to entry, and instilling some kind of generally accepted view that people should work and have a work ethic isn’t a bad thing. There will always be exceptions, but having generations of people who have never held a job or contributed anything to society is not something we should aim for or be proud of.”

Again, agreed, but most attempts to deal with this risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I prefer to live in a country that includes scroungers than a country that lets people starve due to a run of bad luck.

Chaise @ 23

Which in many cases is “companies can’t use it to turn a profit and the state doesn’t have enough workers to do it”. The above solves this. I really don’t know what your problem is here.

But if no one can get a profit from it, then why bother?

If something actually needs doing, like cleaning a beach for example then that is something we need to do as a matter course. Given there are millions of unemployed out there, then ‘not enough workers’ is not really true, is it? What you mean is ‘can’t be arsed to pay for it’ and that is a different proposition. By that token, surely Pagar is right all along? Why not scrap everything as ‘can’t be arsed to pay for anything’? Make the entire State payroll unemployed and then conscript the newly unemployed to do everything? We could conscript people to clean streets, be policemen, be postmen and women etc. Of course, we could bring back National service and conscript everyone into the army and get rid of professional soldiers.

Priorities. Better to have everyone doing a job than one person doing two jobs (one of them as a volunteer) and one person not having a job at all. Volunteers normally sign up to fill a void; if that void can be filled while creating employment at the same time, that’s even better.

Will it be employment though? Lots of people enjoy doing volunteering and do it as a hobby. Others do it as an adjunct to a job. Some people volunteer to do vet work for example, ‘Barry’ from the dole is not doing that is he?

28. Chaise Guevara

@ 27 Jim

“But if no one can get a profit from it, then why bother?”

What a lovely sentiment. Next time I’m about to put a pound in a charity box, I’ll think of you and put it in my savings account instead. Actually, I won’t; some of us believe things have value other than our own fucking bank balance.

“If something actually needs doing, like cleaning a beach for example then that is something we need to do as a matter course.”

Yes, but there’s plenty that *needs* doing but isn’t presently done.

“Given there are millions of unemployed out there [blah blah blah everyone who disagrees with me is a fascist blah blah]”

I’m not really interested in your childish and frankly insulting straw man attacks.

“Will it be employment though? Lots of people enjoy doing volunteering and do it as a hobby.”

So person A’s free hobby is more important than person B being able to work, is it? Person A evidently isn’t very charitable if they agree with you.

“Others do it as an adjunct to a job. Some people volunteer to do vet work for example, ‘Barry’ from the dole is not doing that is he?”

Well, obviously you wouldn’t get people to do esoteric and skilled jobs that they’re not trained for. Jesus, how did you get from “we could employ dole claimants to help out charities” to “ALL CHARITY WORKERS MUST BE FORMER DOLE CLAIMANTS!!!111″?

Tyler @25

The there will be those without skills – where this type of scheme I think really can help. I myself worked for nothing for a short while at a bike shop as my first job at 16.

The point is this scheme does nothing of the sort. Giving these kids a job stacking shelves is pointless. There is already a huge surplus of shelve stackers in the Country. Ask any retailer and they will tell you that every job the advertise they get swamped with CVs. In fact, pushing these youngsters into stacking shelves will end up destroying that very avenue for the thousands of people in the labour force.

I get what you are saying about your own experiences and that is fine. If we are giving people skills that are scarce, then you can actually help people. The problem is, we have had schemes like that before and were expensive wastes of money. We have had, since I can remember YOPS, YTS, ET and god knows what else and they all do the exact same. People with skills and longer term prospects get trained in jobs they would have got anyway and people with less to offer get left on dead end schemes, that cost us millions and as soon as the year is over they go straight onto the dole.

Should a JSA-mandated street sweeper suffer removal of some of his benefit if he doesn’t turn up, just as someone more conventionally employed lose his job if he/she didn’t?

Lastly, I don’t disagree with you saying we should have people on JSA doing usefuyl things like street sweeping or community service.

If there are useful things to do in the community, then why not simply EMPLOY people? This is what I geniunely cannot understand, if there are useful jobs to be done in our community, why make people unemployed, then co-opt them into a work programme to ‘learn them skills and the ‘work ethic’, why not employ people to do the jobs that are staring us in the face?

If our streets are dirty, why not pay people to clean them? Why is that so difficult?

@ Chaise

I’m not talking about a single disputed example, I’m talking about the whole idea.

What idea?

Can you link to what the policy says and how it is being implemented?

Anyone?

Because until we can understand what we are arguing about we are only……….arguing, but to no purpose.

Chaise @ 28

What a lovely sentiment. Next time I’m about to put a pound in a charity box, I’ll think of you and put it in my savings account instead. Actually, I won’t; some of us believe things have value other than our own fucking bank balance.

Can you explain what this is about? You claimed that some jobs are not done because companies cannot profit from it (@ 23). If that it what you believe, that’s fine but if companies cannot profit from it, then it doesn’t really count as job, does it? Not in the private sector anyway.

I’m not really interested in your childish and frankly insulting straw man attacks

What childish straw man attack? Is there enough labour to go round or not? If there is enough labour to go round then it must be something else that is stopping us employimng it. We either have a shortage of labour or a shortage of funds. There is nothing straw about that, is there?

So person A’s free hobby is more important than person B being able to work, is it? Person A evidently isn’t very charitable if they agree with you.

What do you want me to say? If someone runs a charity as a bit of voluntary work, what is wrong with that? Are you suggesting we kick them out of that shop? Chaise, you haven’t thought that through, had you thought it through for about thirty seconds, you would not have posted that sentence. Now all you have done is defeat your own point by introducing some kind of Stalinist twist.

No-one is ever going to pass legislation to ban people from running the WI tea trolly at the council buildings or working in the hospice, so that some unemployed person can be forced into ‘volunteering’.

Try again, but try and think about first. There are thousands of people who a bit of charity work and volunteer all over the Country. Are you actually suggesting that we could ban them all and replace them with the unemployed?

Nope, when you think about it you can see how silly that is.

@27. Jim: “If something actually needs doing, like cleaning a beach for example then that is something we need to do as a matter course. Given there are millions of unemployed out there, then ‘not enough workers’ is not really true, is it?”

Let’s try looking at this in different ways.

Voluntary work can be something that would not otherwise happen. Take, for example, volunteer prison visitors (http://www.naopv.com/). Volunteer prison visitors are accepted by inmates *because* they are volunteers.

On other occasions, volunteers do things that are desirable (eg cleaning rubbish from canal banks) but not essential. It can be argued that unemployed people should be recruited to perform such tasks. That does not mean that volunteers are excluded; it means that their resources are released to do more good work.

Then there are things that have to be done. Somebody has to pick up litter and in a town centre, the task has to be done every day. That is a full time job.

—-
If you wish to adopt a Keynesian job creation model, the jobs should firstly be where things have to be done. Unemployment levels suggest that job creation might be about employing people to do things that are desirable (and this is happening already). The “jobs” are not a replacement for a role that offers progression, the stuff that goes with a real job, but for some people it is preferable to sitting at home.

Charlieman @ 32

On other occasions, volunteers do things that are desirable (eg cleaning rubbish from canal banks) but not essential. It can be argued that unemployed people should be recruited to perform such tasks. That does not mean that volunteers are excluded; it means that their resources are released to do more good work

Yes, there are plenty of this like this, I suggested beaches up a bit too. The question is though: Why are these jobs not being done at the moment?

The thing is, the political will is not there to pay for such schemes. Okay, fair enough, if that is what you want to say. Everyone would like nice canals and clean beaches, if it could be done dirt cheap.

So, if we could gather the political will together we could clean up the cesspit that our beaches have became. Of course, the greater question is why we allow these beaches to become so dirty first place and why do we only see dirty beaches in times of austerity?

So, we could put up a contract (or several regional contracts) to keep beaches and canals clear and tidy, say every five years we award a new contract. So you hire labourers, storekeepers mechanical digger drivers, wages clerks etc and the result we get a better Countryside.

Or we could leave them dirty and use government induced unemployed people to clean them up whenever the Daily Mail readership gets onto their collective hind legs in a semi human stance. I see a couple of problems with that. We talk about ‘welfare dependency’ and we normally mean some lazy person on an estate somewhere drawing benefits, but what about government welfare?

Surely having a compliant, cheap and unregulated workforce would be a boon to a Government? All the boxes are ticked, some ‘good works’ are done and at dirt cheap prices too. The Daily Mail has their cavorting seals out for humiliation, too. So, cutting unemployment is not so important, in fact, if unemployment gets too low, we could lose our workforce. So, all of a sudden, yeah unemployment goes of the radar.

Do we want a Government to benefit politically from artificially high unemployment? Can no one see the dangers of the last Centaury? Isn’t that type of thing the very essence of Stalinist/Nazi (delete according to taste) ideology? We use the S/N word to describe so much in our society from speed cameras to wheelie bin collections, but surely forced labour is the defining characteristics of any totalitarian regime? Unemployment should hurt government, economically and politically, not the other way about.

@2 Tyler

a) In case you forgot, people who lost their job and are now on the dole have, in many cases, paid tax and national insurance for years or even decades. Which is why they’re more than entitled to receive some paltry state help when they most need it (ie, when they get made redundant).

b) I could just about understand and justify “workfare” schemes based on “social” jobs (ie care, etc). But it’s absolutely criminal -as well as supremely against our beloved FREE MARKET- to use them as free labour for the exclusive benefit of multi-billion companies.

That clear?

@1 pagar

Yours is totally irrelevant party political pointscoring. You’ve been a regular reader of this blog for years. Don’t pretend you can’t remember the tons of Labour policies Liberal Conspiracy opposed. Tory or Labour, this ‘workfare scheme’ sucks. Big time.

So the DWP mistakenly said this “job” was permanent?

Same with this one, still being advertised today?

Job No:HVE/14583
SOC Code:0
WageTRAVEL FARES
HoursUP TO 30HRS PER WEEK
LocationHOVE EAST SUSSEX BN3
DurationPermanent
Date posted16 February 2012
Pension detailsNo details held
“…an excellent opportunity for you to improve & develop a number of new skills with Tesco.”

@ Claude

Don’t pretend you can’t remember the tons of Labour policies Liberal Conspiracy opposed.

In fairness, I can. But on this occasion it was Sunny that was doing the party political point scoring and I was correcting him.

Tory or Labour, this ‘workfare scheme’ sucks. Big time.

I agree with you and said so @1.

37. Rosalind Hardie

http://survey.dwp.gov.uk/index.php?sid=45577

DWP consulting on social justice as part of forthcoming government strategy.

38. So Much For Subtlety

34. Claude

a) In case you forgot, people who lost their job and are now on the dole have, in many cases, paid tax and national insurance for years or even decades. Which is why they’re more than entitled to receive some paltry state help when they most need it (ie, when they get made redundant).

First of all, they have paid a paltry amount in. National Insurance does not even come close to funding the real costs of welfare. But by all means, let us agree that it needs to be reshaped so that it is a genuine insurance system. So that those who have not paid in anything get nothing out. There is a time limit on benefits. That sort of thing.

b) I could just about understand and justify “workfare” schemes based on “social” jobs (ie care, etc). But it’s absolutely criminal -as well as supremely against our beloved FREE MARKET- to use them as free labour for the exclusive benefit of multi-billion companies.

It is not free labour. Just cheap. And this dog-in-the-manger attitude is the problem. They need to be kept away from “social” jobs because they are largely in the eye of the beholder and open to abuse. Real jobs in the real economy is what is needed.

39. Chaise Guevara

@ Jim

“Can you explain what this is about?”

It’s about me being pissed off because apparently you think things that don’t turn a profit are pointless, and you’re projecting that attitude onto me.

“You claimed that some jobs are not done because companies cannot profit from it (@ 23). If that it what you believe, that’s fine but if companies cannot profit from it, then it doesn’t really count as job, does it? Not in the private sector anyway.”

That’s why we have this thing called the “public sector”, which covers a number of vital but non-profit-making enterprises. Look it up.

“What childish straw man attack?”

Your “you believe in generating work for the unemployed so you must want to force everyone to join the army” bullcrap. Do you not even remember your own straw man attacks?

“Is there enough labour to go round or not? If there is enough labour to go round then it must be something else that is stopping us employimng it. We either have a shortage of labour or a shortage of funds. There is nothing straw about that, is there?”

No, indeed, when you make a different argument it’s not a straw man attack anymore. FFS.

There appears to be too much labour to go around. We have a shortage of JOBS, not labour or funds. That’s the whole bloody problem.

“What do you want me to say? If someone runs a charity as a bit of voluntary work, what is wrong with that? Are you suggesting we kick them out of that shop? Chaise, you haven’t thought that through, had you thought it through for about thirty seconds, you would not have posted that sentence. Now all you have done is defeat your own point by introducing some kind of Stalinist twist.”

Stalin! Hitler!!! Stop being hysterical. I’m not proposing we actually kick them out. But I’m happy with the idea of making volunteers unnecessary because the government is doing the things that need doing.

If you volunteer for a charity, and you actually CARE about the charity rather than your own ego, surely you’d be happy that the work was being done? Surely what matters is that the homeless are being fed (or whatever) rather than who’s doing it?

“No-one is ever going to pass legislation to ban people from running the WI tea trolly at the council buildings or working in the hospice, so that some unemployed person can be forced into ‘volunteering’. ”

I did already say that I’m not interested in your childish straw man attacks. So stop wasting both our time.

“Try again, but try and think about first. There are thousands of people who a bit of charity work and volunteer all over the Country. Are you actually suggesting that we could ban them all and replace them with the unemployed?”

No, you patronising little cunt, I’m not. What the fuck is wrong with you? If you’re going to lie about what I’m saying, it’s your fault if you don’t like the end result, isn’t it? Don’t blame me because you’ve come up with an idea you don’t like. It’s not my fucking problem.

“Nope, when you think about it you can see how silly that is.”

Yes, this idea you’ve come up with is indeed silly. So go patronise yourself instead of straw manning me. God, you’re weird. If you reply to this, try to address my actual argument instead of insulting me because you’ve come up with some idea in what passes for your brain and then randomly attributed it to me. Or just go troll some other site, I’d don’t really give a shit. Jesus wept.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ 30 pagar

“What idea?

Can you link to what the policy says and how it is being implemented?

Anyone?

Because until we can understand what we are arguing about we are only……….arguing, but to no purpose.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov/16/young-jobseekers-work-pay-unemployment

Can’t find a government site, but governments aren’t great about advertising their more shitty ideas.

Very interesting blog site . I must agree that the system needs an overhaul. The problem is three fold and that is [a] there are too many long term unemployed people. [b] There are too many young unemployed people. The two do not always fit in with each other but of course can run parallel to each other. [c] The available jobs in an area are a mismatch for the unemployed in an area.

Group [a] is comprised of men, mainly, who have been out of work for five years or more. They are in a position of not being employable. Why? Because they have not been employed for a long time and most have not done anything to amend that situation. They are seen as lacking in a work ethic. Why would anyone employ such people?

Group [b] have decided they will not work for low wages and want to be in the running seat before they can walk – they want to be a Beckham without having played football. They do not apply for jobs, fail to turn up for interviews, turn down jobs they get offered because it is not a high enough wage – though it is for the experience and the capability they have to offer an employer.

Of course this does not apply to all of group [a] and group [b] one hundred per cent – there are always exceptions.

Both group [a] and [b] could receive their benefits and encouraged to take up certain jobs that will build upon team work, problem sorting, time management and even financing decisions. An example would be the clean up of the canal system; the team work and problem sorting involved as well as a diversion of resources and talent would be beneficial to all. Of course not all people from group [a] and [b] are capable of such work, but I am sure you can find more applicable society benefiting examples.

Society not profit benefiting would run parallel with those being interned into the “Tesco” attitude firms or organisations. I would also expect social, governmental, legal, defence and science and technological bodies to offer short-term internments for such people to gain experience. Not so much for them to gain work experience, as important as that is, but to gain a work ethic experience. I know jobs in these ‘industries’ have been cut to save money, but the work ethic and social and work skills are what I am looking at.

Of course this is not employment as we have come to understand employment, and I would limit the term of action to 30 hours a week. Those in training or some other work related daily activity would be exempt. Should that training and or other work activity not produce results – a job – then such people could be co-opted into an internment, physical societal benefiting activity or Tesco type of work experience.

These activities would reduce boredom and slothfulness. Encourage a more societal and civic outlook and show employers that the unemployed are willing and able to maintain a committed subscription to employment. It will also show the unemployed people that a life on benefits is not an option relating to idleness or slothfulness. They will always, after an interim period if they are newly unemployed, be expected to be do something.

Of course there will be free-riders milking the system for everything they can, there always has been, but at the moment we have a disenfranchised youth and a long term unemployment group that have not been able to take up work because of loss of money and leisure time that employment is thought, by these people, to bring about. The policy to tackle that is being looked at through the application of a graduated payment scheme.

So I agree that welfare is a good thing. I agree that in times of long term mass unemployment we should not allow the citizens of this country be lost in a maze of lacklustre apathy and loss of work ethic mentality. I agree in workfare but only as a means to motivate, install and encourage work ethic and other employability related concepts, skills and or abilities. The system as it stands fails all these prerequisites.

[c] Is where the problem is at its most difficult.

Chaise @ 39

It’s about me being pissed off because apparently you think things that don’t turn a profit are pointless, and you’re projecting that attitude onto me.

Eh, where have I said that? What I said was if people in the private could not turn a profit from certain activity, why should we subsidies them. There are lots osf activities that do not necessary make a profit and therefore the public sector do them. That doen’t mean these jobs have no social value, it means they do do make a profit for the private sector. Look at the very title of this thread

Your “you believe in generating work for the unemployed so you must want to force everyone to join the army”

The question is what is the logical extension of your forced labour scheme? Sooner or later, you are talking about conscription and that will entail people in the public sector being ousted in favour of conscripts.

There appears to be too much labour to go around. We have a shortage of JOBS, not labour or funds. That’s the whole bloody problem.

Then you argee that it is not that people are turning down work, it is that there is not enough work to turn down? Then destroying jobs and replacing those jobs with something calkled ‘work placements’ is stupid?

No, you patronising little cunt, I’m not. What the fuck is wrong with you? If you’re going to lie about what I’m saying, it’s your fault if you don’t like the end result, isn’t it? Don’t blame me because you’ve come up with an idea you don’t like. It’s not my fucking problem.

Yeah, the unfortunate thing for you is that we have what you actually said on recod regarding people ‘voulenteering’. Namely # 23:

Priorities. Better to have everyone doing a job than one person doing two jobs (one of them as a volunteer) and one person not having a job at all. Volunteers normally sign up to fill a void; if that void can be filled while creating employment at the same time, that’s even better.

Are you now withdrawing that statement? Are you saying that people SHOULD b e allowed to’ volunteer’ and effectively do two jobs (the latter being unpaid). If so, apology accepted, if not, then you deserve to look like a twat.

You may need to clarify your position. Should people be allowed to voulenteer for certain tasks based on their own free will? A simple yes or no will suffice.

God, you’re weird. If you reply to this, try to address my actual argument instead of insulting me because you’ve come up with some idea in what passes for your brain and then randomly attributed it to me.

All you have been asked to do is follow your thoughts to their logical conclusion, why have you found it so diificult? Is it perhaps you are too stupid to get the implications of the ‘policy’ you support?

I am more than happy to let decent people to read what you have written and decide.

43. Chaise Guevara

@ Jim

“Eh, where have I said that?”

Post 27.

“What I said was if people in the private could not turn a profit from certain activity, why should we subsidies them.”

We shouldn’t.

“There are lots osf activities that do not necessary make a profit and therefore the public sector do them. That doen’t mean these jobs have no social value, it means they do do make a profit for the private sector.”

I’m aware of this, as should be clear as I’ve been saying it for a while now.

“The question is what is the logical extension of your forced labour scheme?”

I don’t have a fucking forced labour scheme, Strawman McGee.

“Sooner or later, you are talking about conscription and that will entail people in the public sector being ousted in favour of conscripts. ”

Aaaand this is why you don’t use straw men, because you end up arguing about a position that nobody, in fact, holds. I’m not talking about forced labour. I’m not talking about conscription. I’m talking about a system where we create jobs for those who need them. You seem to think that this is a terrible idea. I have no clue WHY you think this, as ever since I asked you’ve done nothing but straw-man me.

“Then you argee that it is not that people are turning down work, it is that there is not enough work to turn down? Then destroying jobs and replacing those jobs with something calkled ‘work placements’ is stupid?”

I agree with all that, yes. Which is why I want us to create jobs.

“Yeah, the unfortunate thing for you is that we have what you actually said on recod regarding people ‘voulenteering’. Namely # 23:

Priorities. Better to have everyone doing a job than one person doing two jobs (one of them as a volunteer) and one person not having a job at all. Volunteers normally sign up to fill a void; if that void can be filled while creating employment at the same time, that’s even better.

Are you now withdrawing that statement? Are you saying that people SHOULD b e allowed to’ volunteer’ and effectively do two jobs (the latter being unpaid). If so, apology accepted, if not, then you deserve to look like a twat. ”

I’m not withdrawing the statement. It’s not my fault that you’ve decided to read something into the statement that the statement doesn’t contain, i.e. the idea that we should ban volunteering.

I look forward to your apology when you suddenly realise that “we should pay the unemployed to help out charities” is not the same thing as “we should ban people from working as volunteers”.

“You may need to clarify your position. Should people be allowed to voulenteer for certain tasks based on their own free will? A simple yes or no will suffice.”

Yes.

“All you have been asked to do is follow your thoughts to their logical conclusion, why have you found it so diificult? Is it perhaps you are too stupid to get the implications of the ‘policy’ you support? ”

No, it’s because you’re not following my thoughts through to their logical conclusion. You’re chasing the logical conclusion of completely different thoughts – “Ban vounteering! Forced conscription!” – and trying to apply them to me. Again, this is your problem, not mine.

“I am more than happy to let decent people to read what you have written and decide.”

Likewise. I’m sure you think that decent people will be round my house with torches and pitchforks the moment they read my disgusting ideas about creating jobs, improving vital services, and paying people a living wage…


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    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ http://t.co/V6b0KVJv

  77. Anna Hayward

    Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/dfE7QGzK

  78. Stevien

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  79. Trish Westrop

    RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' – national day of action planned http://t.co/OgeEI12m

  80. Daisy Cooper

    MT @sunny_hundal: Another retailer abandons #workfare after complaints against Tesco. National day of action – 3 March http://t.co/wllr6kJ6

  81. Top Trending UK

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  82. Glen Sakkadas-Hunter

    http://t.co/AhFgF7Yx <day of action is planned with @UKuncut for 3rd March #boycottworkfare

  83. keith davis

    RT @sunny_hundal: Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. day of action planned http://t.co/xx8jYakw

  84. Stevie G

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  85. Janet Graham

    Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/dfE7QGzK

  86. Janet Graham

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  87. Janet Graham

    RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' – national day of action planned http://t.co/OgeEI12m

  88. Stephen Budden

    Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/dfE7QGzK

  89. Keith Davis

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  90. Noxi

    RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/WAwTJjfw

  91. Noxi

    RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/Gwpq7que

  92. George Laird

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  93. Laughlan

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  94. Stefan

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  95. Guy Manchester

    Good: Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’: http://t.co/34Xi0qaY

  96. John Böttcher

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ http://t.co/H39lY8cM

  97. cvitae is:

    RT Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/lvWcpgfn

  98. gillo ballybay

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  99. Elizabeth Bangs

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  100. Robert CP

    Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/dfE7QGzK

  101. Chris Ambrose

    RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/U0ZSQzmz

  102. Kate

    RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/ZYbGG9pa

  103. Kyron Hodgetts

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  104. Joyce

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ after complaints against Tesco. National day of action now planned http://t.co/4aEViLPp

  105. Tesco asks government to change flagship jobless scheme « ATOS REGISTER OF SHAME

    [...] Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ (liberalconspiracy.org) Share this:EmailPrintFacebookTwitterDiggRedditStumbleUponLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  106. David Griffiths

    #stopworkfare lets have #fairwork RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/7Wb6kjzs

  107. kathT

    #stopworkfare lets have #fairwork RT @libcon: Another retailer abandons 'workfare' http://t.co/7Wb6kjzs

  108. IpswichCAB

    Another retailer abandons ‘workfare’ ~ http://t.co/TaCN3eT5

  109. #Workfare #WorkProgramme: My Solutions for #UKgov #WRB | The Creative Crip

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