Activists from South Devon anti-capitalist group, Torbay Fightback, were in Paignton town centre on January 12, protesting against two supermarket chains involvement with Workfare and Atos. The group targeted the town’s Tesco and Co-operative stores, where hundreds of leaflets have were distributed and customers informed of the economic exploitation and unfairness that was happening as a result of the involvement.
A spokesperson for Torbay Fightback told PRSD: “Since the protest, and others at Co-op stores and distribution centres across the country, the company has ended its involvement with Atos. However, Tesco is still very much hand in hand with the Government and its slave labour Workfare scheme.”
Torbay Fightback claims local people on benefits are being forced to work for companies such as Tesco for as little as £2.25 per hour. The group say it’s not the minority of so-called benefit ‘scroungers’ that are being targeted by the economic exploitation of Workfare, but genuine claimants who are finding it difficult to find work, and even people with disabilities. In addition to this, in the unscrupulous drive to squeeze every ounce of profit from their businesses, present employees at stores such as Tesco, Argos and Poundstretcher could lose their jobs, as people are taken on at cheaper rates through Workfare.
A spokesperson for Torbay Fightback said: “The only people who really benefit from Workfare are the directors and shareholders of companies such as Tesco. The scheme does not help the claimant or the local community. It is just another example of this rotten government’s partnership with big business and another step back to Victorian times and the days of the workhouse.”
The group, which has a presence on social networking site Facebook says it plans further action over the year.
A spokesperson said: “We will organise, campaign and take action in the fight against Government and Local Authority cutbacks, infringements to civil liberties and democratic rights, and also on animal welfare issues.”
More details on Torbay Fightback can be found by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by logging on to their website at www.torbayfightback.blogspot.co.uk