Friday, February 24, 2012

UK institutes slavery (forced unpaid work)

Concern over unpaid workers taking overtime from staff as some placements last more than a month

Read it at The Guardian (UK)
by Shiv Malik, James Ball and Lizzy Davies

Read it at Raw Story
UK government under fire over ‘slave labor’ job scheme
By Agence France-Presse
The ten-month-old voluntary programme, part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s welfare reforms, is intended to help the record number of jobless youths improve their CVs and find work in a difficult economic climate.
But opponents say people who quit halfway through their placements are docked two weeks unemployment benefits as punishment — and that the scheme allows major corporations to exploit a large pool of free labour.
The resulting furor has seen a number of big-name backers distance themselves from the scheme, including Tesco, which was targeted by protests last weekend.
Campaigners say the 34,200 youths who have taken part in the scheme so far have provided unpaid labour worth £67.5 million to companies that also include fast food giant McDonalds.“If there are people who feel they’re coerced to work for nothing, ‘slave labour’ isn’t a bad description of it,” Michael Bradley of the Right to Work campaign told AFP.
“If they aren’t benefiting from doing these placements, and aren’t getting jobs at the end of it, that’s coercion.”


Matt Franko said...

At least it is not as bad as Greece where they actually had to PAY to work....

Tom this level of absurdity HAS to be indicating a bottom soon, no?

I dont think it has ever been this bad for humanity from a purely economic (ie open warfare worse in real terms) perspective.... ever.


Tom Hickey said...

Not really, Matt. The West is just now getting a taste of where the rest of the world has been and is now. And it will get worse before it gets better. The race is on for the bottom — worker repression instead of margin compression and rent-seeking over production as the have's exploit advantage over the have-not's. History shows where that leads eventually.

mike norman said...

This is sickening.

Septeus7 said...

What I don't understand is why anyone would be willing to do this. Why? There's no economic reason to work for zero wages for unskilled jobs so why do it?

What kind of psychological violence is being used to compel folks into this utter insanity? I'd take my chances with a indoor/patio garden for subsistence before I'd put up with this bull.

Tom Hickey said...

Septaeus7, I believe from what I've read elsewhere or perhaps heard from Neil Wilson, it isn't exactly voluntary but involves one's continued eligibility for assistance. Maybe Neil can help us out on this. I don't recall the details.

Tom Hickey said...

I updated "UK institutes slavery (forced unpaid work)" with an article from AFP that explains more of the detail.