Birmingham Workfare Walk Of Shame – Watch The Video

On Monday, a workfare walk of shame was held around Birmingham city centre. If you couldn’t make it, there is a video with all the stops that you can watch. More workfare events are taking place in April, in Kings Heath and Acocks Green – see this post for more details.

We visited the following business and charities, using the Boycott Workfare website as a guide to where to stop

Chamberlain Square/Paradise Forum

Greggs and McDonalds where we discussed what workfare is, and the different government schemes.

Victoria Square

Birmingham City Council House, not because the council are currently using workfare (as far as we know…) but because others are, and because they might choose to take advantage of workfare to cover for cuts.

John Bright Street

Action For the Blind, where the role of charities in workfare was explored

Stephenson Street

New Street Train Station, because we have Finsbury Park tube wardens for the example of public services using workfare to cover for cuts, and because local Birmingham train stations are facing cuts to staff, leaving unmanned train stations, which might find themselves being looked after by people on workfare.

New Street

Tesco who are half-in half-out of workfare.

Temple Street

Maplins who have pulled out

Bull Street

British Heart Foundation was used to highlight the fact that people with disabilities claiming ESA, who are put into the Work Related Activity Group by ATOS, face unlimited workfare placements on the work programme.

Union Street

WH Smiths & Greggs (still taking part); Poundland (withdrawn from mandatory schemes); Superdrug & Argos (suspended their involvement); Sainsbury’s, Boots & BHS (withdrawn).

We could almost do a mini-walk of shame just down this short street where almost every shop has played some part in workfare. Amongst other things we learnt here about how companies used workfare over the christmas period as replacements for paid staff.

High Street

WH Smiths (still in); Waterstones & HMV (pulled out).

New Street

Primark (still in); Pizza Hut (suspended). This stop was used to talk about unemployment and the fact that workfare cannot reduce unemployment, though it may shift who gets an available job, and some of the lies behind the 50% success rate.

New Street

Holland and Barrett. Here we talked briefly about the scale of workfare, with Holland and Barrett taking 1,000 workfare placements in 2012, in a company with around 3,500 paid workers.

New Street

Ingeus. Ingeus are one of the workfare providers, like A4e which is currently being exposed for fraud and misuse of taxpayers money. From what we hear, no workfare provider does a good job. If you are sent to Ingeus, please get in touch and let us know what they are like as a provider. We used this to talk about the work programme, which is the largest workfare scheme.

If anyone out there is good with subtitling and could add subtitles to this video, please get in touch, so we can make it as accessible as possible.

1 Comment

Filed under Events

One response to “Birmingham Workfare Walk Of Shame – Watch The Video

  1. Reblogged this on Gogwit's Blog and commented:
    Family commitments meant I missed this. I’m hoping it might be repeated.

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