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High street giant H&B dumps Workfare
south west | protests | news report Saturday July 07, 2012 10:19 by Bristol Solidarity Federation bristolsolfed at gmail dot com
The government's controversial Workfare programme came under new pressure today after high street retailer Holland and Barrett said announced they were pulling out of the scheme and replacing it with a series of paid apprenticeships.
Activists from groups including the Solidarity Federation and Boycott Workfare say the practice is being used to effectively replace paid jobs with an endless supply of free labour, a reversal of the government line that it is helping to get people back to work. A Solidarity Federation (SolFed) spokesperson said: "On the face of it this is very good news. We've been pushing them to change their policies for months by holding pickets up and down the country, highlighting how this scheme is undermining jobs and wages by replacing low-paid workers with conscripts from the job centres. Their withdrawal is a big step towards putting down this unfair programme for good."
"This factor, together with the planned introduction of a new full time, salaried apprentice scheme, means that the 60 people currently undertaking the work experience scheme will be the last to complete the eight week placement. After this time Holland & Barrett will not participate further in that scheme."
We will now support the national week of action called by the Boycott Workfare Network against remaining workfare firms before meeting to discuss the next steps.