Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Anti-Workfare Picket Superdrug Glasgow Sat. 8th Dec. 11 a.m.

Anti-Workfare Picket Superdrug
Public event · By The Crutch Collective

Share, join and invite friends:

Saturday, 8 December 2012
11:00 until 11:50
Superdrug, 117 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3ER.

Like many chain stores, Superdrug, who made a £20 million profit last year, have been given a massive public subsidy, in the form of unemployed people working for nothing but their benefits on a workfare scheme. Superdrug suspended their participation in the Government's 'Work Experience' workfare scheme earlier in the year after Tesco was picketed and received a lot of bad publicity for using the same scheme, but Superdrug began using the scheme again from at least June.

This scheme is not only an attack on the unemployed, who are bullied on to the nominally voluntary scheme by Job Centre Plus, or are forced on to other workfare schemes for refusing to take part in 'work experience' that mostly involves stacking shelves for 30 hours a week for up to 8 weeks, and who face sanctions i.e. having their benefits cut in certain circumstances, while on the scheme. It is also a direct attack on Superdrug workers - replacing paid jobs, holiday pay & ending temporary posts.

Superdrug will no longer be taking on temporary staff to deal with the busy Christmas period. Rather than hire extra workers, Superdrug will be taking on more people on 'Work Experience' – workers Superdrug still don't have to pay. Not only will this impact on those being exploited as unpaid labour, but on students & others who rely on holiday work.

The same number of people will be doing the same amount of work – but thanks to workfare, Superdrug can replace paid workers with unpaid ones. Once again, the lies of the government and businesses, claiming that workfare is a way to help people back into work, are exposed. The exact opposite is true - workfare is a job destruction scheme.

We call on Superdrug to end this exploitation and withdraw immediately from all workfare programmes. Any workers now working unpaid should be hired straight away.

The best way to end the iniquity of workfare is to directly affect the profits of the companies exploiting it. We have shown that it works - join us doing the same to Superdrug!
Until Superdrug gives in, help us in fighting this attack on all workers’ terms and conditions.

The picket is part of a 'Boycott Workfare' National Day Of Action. They have information on other High Street stores that use workfare on their website:

A guide to all the workfare schemes and advice on how to avoid them can be found here:

Claimants Resisting Unfair Treatment Cuts and Harassment -
a group of benefit claimants and supporters in Glasgow:

Supported by Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World:

Some people from this picket will be going to the meeting point for the Glasgow UK UnCut Starbucks Refuge From The Cuts at the Donald Dewar statue on Buchanan Street:

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Co-Op – Cancel The Atos Contract! Glasgow Picket Report

Anti-Co-Op/Atos Contract picket outside the Co-Op Bank and the end of the picket at the Co-Op supermarket. The placards say, 'The Co-operative not-so-good for everyone'.

On Thursday 22nd a dozen people, including members of benefit claimants' groups Black Triangle and the Crutch Collective, Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World, Glasgow Anarchist Federation, Glasgow Solidarity Federation as well as other individuals took part in the hour long picket of the Co-Op Bank and supermarket on the same street in central Glasgow.

We gave out leaflets to Co-Op customers and the hundreds of people going pass on their way home from work. The leaflet highlighted the Co-Op's four year occupational health contract with Atos. Atos continue to make huge profits by continuing to assess most sick and disabled benefit claimants as fit for work, ignoring contrary medical evidence, to comply with Government targets for benefit cuts. The cuts are being imposed to make the poor pay again for the latest crisis in capitalism caused by the rich. We asked people to contact the Co-Op to tell the company, that sells itself as ethical, that they will be losing their custom until they cancel their contract with Atos.

Most interest came from older women who perhaps know from experience what the Co-Op is really about. Maybe they know the reality of the Co-Op's claim that they have always been ethical, because they have always provided affordable prices to those in need. In past generations the Co-Op mostly employed women. Their exploitative employment practices are still the same as any other business. Historically the Co-Op has played a significant role in the daily lives of many working class people. But it's contribution to working class emancipation has been marginal at best and at worst has added to illusion that such an aim can be achieved within the capitalist system. Like any other business it is open to the pressures that come with the fluctuations of the marketplace and has made workers redundant when the markets are down. Like any other bosses the Co-Op management have made older workers redundant, using the excuse that they would be incapable of coping with the introduction of new technology, that was never introduced, because managers had nothing better to do than manage workers like cogs in a machine.

Co-Op management tried to placate us with more empty words about ethics, rather than taking action against Atos. They have refused to rule out Atos from the bidding process for their new occupational contract, that starts next year, despite the unethical behaviour of Atos being well documented. If the Co-Op were interested in ethics they would have already publicly rejected an Atos bid. Their decision on who to award the new contract to will be based primarily on cheapness even though the profitable Co-Op do not have to do this out of economic necessity.

Atos and the police have been monitoring anti-Atos activity to try to manage dissent towards ineffectiveness. Now the Co-Op are up to it as well to help their Atos partners. The communications from Co-Op management, the hiring of extra security staff and the ludicrous number of police present for the picket show that the Co-Op are extremely worried about their ethical image, no matter how fake, even from the dent that can be caused to it by a relatively small group and one action. We must be doing something right. Just imagine what actions against the Atos contract by larger groups in more that one place could do.

Claimants Resisting Unfair Treatment Cuts and Harassment

Sunday, 18 November 2012

How to gain exemptions from Atos/DWP 'Fit For Work' and WRAG decisions

ESA WRAG Workfare appeal

This may be useful way to appeal for sick and disabled people placed in the Work Related Activity Group for ESA and forced on to the Work Programme:

via Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty

It basically involves getting a letter from your GP confirming you are too ill to take part in workfare and sending a letter of appeal to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Co-Op - Cancel The Atos Contract! - Picket
Public event · By The Crutch Collective
Thursday, 22 November 2012
16:30 until 17:30

The Co-operative Bank, 29 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3PF, The Co-operative supermaket, 132 Union Street, Glasgow, G1 3QQ

The co-operative - not-so-good for everyone
It has recently been discovered that the Co-Op Bank and group of companies have had a 4 year occupational health contract with Atos, which is due to expire in July 2013.
Atos make huge profits carrying out work capability assessments on sick and disabled people on behalf of the Government.
As was exposed by a Channel 4 documentary they pass 7 out of 8 people as fit for work - to comply with Government targets for benefit cuts.
Their decisions are not based on objective medical opinion.

The Government are cutting benefits to reduce the debt caused by banks gambling on the financial markets.

The most vulnerable in society are being made to pay for the greed of bankers, whose bonuses continue to rise, and for the inevitable booms and busts of capitalist economics.

Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland have received 24,000 complaints about Atos. CAB win 80% of appeals against Atos finding people fit for work.

The Daily Record reported on a Government survey that showed half of those found fit for work by Atos end up destitute.

The Co-Op sells itself as an ethical company, but what ethical standards are they maintaining by continuing with a contract that gives millions to a company that cuts the benefits of sick and disabled people?

Hundreds of people have already complained about the contract on TheCo-operative Facebook page and by tweeting @TheCo-operative

Why not join them and tell the Co-Op that you will stop shopping at their supermarkets or that you will close your Co-Op bank account until they cancel the contract with Atos? You can also email

Claimants Resisting Unfair Treatment, Cuts and Harassment

Supported by Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World

Please share the Facebook event page, join and invite friends, and take part in the online protest mentioned: