Two weeks after we went out the last time, Liverpool IWW and friends were ready to take on local workfare exploitation once more yesterday. See more photos here.
There are many Tescos to choose from in central Liverpool, with the company having a massive expansion locally over the last few years, coinciding with their use of workfare. In the end, we picked the one on Hanover Street, as it gave us some shelter from the heavy rain! After talking with some of the staff inside, we stood outside, and got rid of around two hundred anti-workfare leaflets in forty-five minutes.
Having done this, we were about to move on to our second target. But then the Tesco store’s manager started having a go at us, claiming he’d “done [his] research”, and our leaflet was “just untrue”.
Sorry Mr Tesco Manager on your up to £56,000 a year. Your particular store may not use workfare, but Tesco famously does. The company’s Twitter account confirmed as much in July, but we knew already knew it from the many statements of people who have been through the scheme there. Until Tesco leaves all workfare schemes and make a public statement condemning workfare, they are a legitimate target, and your store is too.
After saying bye to Mr Manager, we made our way to Poundland on Williamson Square, where the public made short work of our leaflet supply. Again, like last time, we had good chats with lots of new people, and we’d got lots of new local followers on our Facebook page and our Twitter account yesterday evening!
As Liverpool IWW, we take the position that not only is workfare really bad news for the workers who are put on it, it also has a hugely negative impact on the working class as a whole – pushing up unemployment and putting downward pressure on wages. So paid workers on the job, workfare employees on the job, and working class customers can and must unite to fight for their shared interests. And as the recent national week of action proved, we can get wins on workfare!
Next time, we’re going after a workfare exploiter who is well known to Liverpool people, and have the backing of the local council. Watch this space!