No Pay - No Way!
Yesterday (18/02/12) saw a number of protests across the country as a result of Tesco's participation in the government's workfare scheme, which pays workers as little as £1.80 an hour.
Protests in Manchester, Leeds and London were organised over facebook after Tesco sparked outrage by advertising a job on the Job Center Plus website offering a wage of "Job Seeker's Allowence + expenses". The protesters say that 'workfare' is a modern day form of slave labour.
At the Tesco's store on Market Street in Manchester the manager refused to sign a pledge written up by protesters which promised that all workers be paid in alignment with standard terms and conditions. The protesters blockaded the enterence of the store for some time, handing out leaflets, and recieving a warm reception by members of the public.
A local Mc Donalds worker joined the demonstration in anger at the sliding wages and conditions of most working people in the UK, he said "it isn't fair that companies which make billions of pounds profit won't pay their workers minimum wage, let alone a living wage."
The protest was simultaneous with protests in Leeds and London, the Westminster Tesco’s was closed while protesters were removed by police. Protesters chanted ‘Tesco bosses hear us say, we won’t work if you won’t pay’. No arrests were reported.
Tesco’s have tried to play down the growing row – putting it down to a ‘computer error’. But the reality is that Tesco’s has benefitted from the work of more than 1400 mainly young people, and they are not alone.
Dozens of major companies have been quietly profiting at the expense of the taxpayer and unemployed for over a year. These protests are part of a campaign to make companies decide this scheme isn’t worth the hassle.
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