Yesterday we posted about a court ruling on government slave work programmes and how the UK government have ignored the judicial system and ploughed on with expanding the programmes.
Not only are the government ignoring the judiciary, the implementation of salve work programmes is highly corrupt.
1: The government uses those on its slave labour schemes to falsify unemployment statistics.
Tom Blenkinsop (Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) lodged a parliamentary question and asked the minister for the cabinet office whether “…the Office of National Statistics defines people in unpaid workfare-style programmes as being employed in its Labour Market Statistics.”
The response was:
“Nick Hurd (Parliamentary Secretary (Civil Society), Cabinet Office; Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Conservative) holding answer 22 October 2012
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Glen Watson, dated October 2012
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking whether the Office for National Statistics defines people in unpaid workfare-style programmes as being employed in its Labour Market Statistics. (124129)
The ONS collects information on people participating in government-supported employment and training programmes via the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The information includes the name of the programme and the type of activity being undertaken. Those participants whose activity comprises any form of work, work experience or work-related training are classified as in employment. This is regardless of whether the individual is paid or not.
This classification is in line with recommendations set down by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which the ONS uses in the LFS to classify individuals into different labour market statuses. Those in employment on government-supported employment and training programmes comprise one of the elements—alongside employees, the self-employed and unpaid family workers—that make up the total number in employment.”
2: The government BLATANTLY LIE in response to an e-petition
An e-petition to abolish work for benefit schemes reached more than 10,000 signatures and the government were required to respond.
In their response, the government lied concerning the nature of their slave labour work programmes.
Part of the reply stated “We do not have Work for Your Benefit or Workfare schemes in this country. Workfare is an American term used to describe employment programmes which force all jobseekers to work at a certain point of their claim in order to continue to receive benefit.”
However, the schemes provided by the government are defined as “…is a ‘work for your benefit’ scheme for people claiming jobseeker’s allowance. Jobcentre Plus can decide whether you take part. It aims to help you find employed or self-employed work. The scheme may include work-related activities, such as work experience or looking for work.”
3: The government provides ‘no-cost’ slave labour to its cronies
Major companies who are involved in government contracts are benefiting from the slave programmes, by having temporary staff on-demand with no contractual obligations and no need to pay a minimum wage or provide other employment related benefits.
Some of the companies that have close relationships with government and who are benefitting from the schemes are A4e, Atos, G4S, Ingeus, Reed Recruitment, SERCO and others.
4: Organisations and companies boycott the schemes
The government are not having it all their own way, and many organisations and companies have seen through the government lies and refuse to have any part of the corrupt slave labour programme. Some of them are:
Miss Selfridge makes a point of stating on their website that they do not participate in the schemes.
TK Maxx “We do not support non-paid work experience” which pulled out of the scheme.
Waterstones does not want to “encourage work for no pay” as did Sainsbury’s.
99p Stores withdrew from the scheme stating that they had not placed one worker through the scheme.
Maplin Electronics announced its withdrawal from the scheme
Burger King expressed concern at public concerns and cancelled their involvement in one of the programmes.
Matalan withdrew from the scheme.
Many charities have refused to take part in, or have withdrawn from the scheme over concerns about the use of slave labour. Shelter, Oxfam, Cancer Research, Sense, The Children’s Society and more. One of the most damning statements against the sceme is made by the mental health charity MIND, which states on its website:
“Workfare and volunteering
Mind, the national charity, does not have, has never had and will never have any coerced volunteer placements.
As a charity, we depend upon volunteers to help us continue our work. Mind has a volunteering policy that states that volunteer roles should never be used in place of paid roles. Volunteers are usually recruited on a time limited basis to work on specific projects.
Local Minds are independent charities, so we do not have immediate access to information about their staff and volunteers. We have written to all local Minds to ask that, if they are involved in any Workfare schemes, they withdraw from them immediately. At present, we have not been notified of any local Minds involved in such schemes.
We have told managers in our charity shops to check the status of their volunteers and end any placements that are not in line with our position.”
There is no doubt that the government are using the excuse of the schemes to provide slave labour to organisations and to falsify unemployment statistics – the evidence is there right in front of us.
Trade unions criticise the misuse of the unemployed in a way which prevents real jobs from being created, and exploiting (blackmailing) them for the government’s own purposes which are of no benefit to society.
The slave/forced labour programmes are corrupt and the government doesn’t care, because the general public either doesn’t know the truth, believe what they are told through mainstream media and propaganda, or just don’t care because it doesn’t affect them – a sad reflection on today’s society.
What else could we expect!