View Full Version : Customer Power: Tesco under pressure to stop using unpaid labour

17-02-2012, 09:57 AM
Tesco has come under increasing pressure from customers to stop participating in government unemployment schemes which allow the company to take on jobseekers to stack and clean shelves for up to eight weeks without paying them.

Source (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/16/tesco-unpaid-work-experience-scheme)

Once people are on these schemes have very little recourse to challenge bad treatment, and managers take advantage:

One woman was made to work without protective clothing in the chilled and freezer section in Tescos
Another store took on twelve people to cover the busy Christmas period but offered not a single job
Other people placed in supermarkets report being forced to work the worst hours, paid staff being sent home and childcare needs being ignored

Sainsbury's recently withdrew from the scheme after public pressure.

LINK (http://www.boycottworkfare.org/)

17-02-2012, 10:38 AM
There was an item on the Beeb yesterday about Tesco advertising a "full time" position, for which the successful applicant would receive their dole.
The ad was removed after the "full time" nature of the position was questioned.

Government sponsored slavery.

17-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Boycotts should be arranged. The SWP and others (rightly, it may be added) boycott Tesco over its sale of Israeli goods, why not blacklist it for this attack on the rights of our fellow workers in the UK?

17-02-2012, 12:44 PM
Is this in Ireland too?

17-02-2012, 01:01 PM
Is this in Ireland too?

I read somewhere that they're using Slave JobsBridge interns here.

Justin Casey
17-02-2012, 01:08 PM
Tesco really ought to hire Senator David Norris* again, to provide his distinctive voice for another series of advertisements in order to mitigate any reputational damage.

*Some idiots actually wanted this horrid corporate shill for president. Yes, really!

17-02-2012, 01:22 PM
Why was Norris a horrid corporate shill?

Justin Casey
17-02-2012, 01:28 PM
Why was Norris a horrid corporate shill?

For the money? Just a wild guess. :)

17-02-2012, 03:13 PM
Come on, what makes him a corporate shill? Justify that description.

Justin Casey
17-02-2012, 05:09 PM
Come on, what makes him a corporate shill? Justify that description.

Tesco really ought to hire Senator David Norris* again, to provide his distinctive voice for another series of advertisements in order to mitigate any reputational damage.

Without wishing to derail this thread and in danger of repeating myself, I touched upon the issue here (http://www.politicalworld.org/showpost.php?p=88200&postcount=15). I think that our overpaid and underwhelming public "servants" such as Ahern and Norris shouldn't abuse their position on behalf of News International or Tesco to further line their own pockets – especially given the dubious reputations of their new bosses. I realise that Irish politics is driven by provincial and parochial, narrow self-interest. Our Nationalist/Socialist coalition knows very well how to exploit this, in a climate of uncertainty and fear. However, if we tolerate and tacitly approve through our politicians, exploitation, then we and our children will be next. Are next, in fact.


Justin Casey
18-02-2012, 10:28 AM
Work experience programme must be voluntary, says major employer amid complaints it is profiting from forced labour

The Department for Work and Pensions has come under pressure from Britain's biggest private employer to fundamentally change the terms of one of its flagship unemployment schemes following complaints that jobseekers are being used as taxpayer-subsidised labour in high street chains up and down the country.

Supermarket group Tesco said it has asked DWP officials to make the work experience scheme voluntary after thousands of angry customers wrote in and posted messages on Twitter and the company's Facebook site accusing the multinational of profiting from hundreds of thousands of hours of forced unpaid work.

In a statement from Tesco on Friday night, the company which made 3.8bn in profits last year said it wanted the scheme to be free from any sort of sanction.

Tesco asks government to change flagship jobless scheme (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/18/tesco-jobless-scheme-work-experience)

Justin Casey
21-02-2012, 11:27 AM
After protests hit London, Manchester and Leeds at the weekend, alongside an onslaught upon Tesco's presence in social media the company and others are feeling the squeeze. 99p Stores and Tk Maxx are the latest companies to drop out of the scheme, whilst Matalan is reviewing its participation in it, which comes on top of Sainsbury's and Waterstones.

Even Tesco was forced to complain to the government about the scheme being mandatory, although it is still happy to have people work for free (as the government continues to pay their JSA [Job Seeker's Allowance] and any expenses).

The Department for Work and Pensions' Work Programme provider guidance states that those on JSA who are participating must do the work on a mandatory basis to avoid minimum wage regulations: "Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is work experience you must mandate participants to this activity.

"This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated"

Mass anger forces more companies to abandon workfare schemes (http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13907/20-02-2012/mass-anger-forces-more-companies-to-abandon-workfare-schemes)

21-02-2012, 07:29 PM
People power and in particular the social media networks are being used to show that again big corporations are not getting their way. We should be leading the way now with the Jobsbridge scheme by leading an attack on all employers who are announcing internship schemes by showing how much they are making and then offering pittance to employ people. But as per usual us Irish are your typical passive aggressive type, well whinge about it over a few pints but will sit back and do nothing....

Justin Casey
24-02-2012, 09:01 PM
"A big internet campaign that's being run by an organisation that's a front for the Socialist Workers Party." That was how Tory welfare minister Chris Grayling described the revolt against the government's workfare scheme during his appearance on the Today programme.


If the government wants the scheme to survive, it's increasingly hard to see how it can avoid backing down. Large companies, for understandable reasons, are uncomfortable with the impression of slave labour created by the threat of benefits removal. And, contrary to Grayling, it isn't only Trotskyists who are troubled by the scheme. The element of compulsion involved (keep working or you'll lose your benefits) offends against basic fairness. Unless ministers concede this point, they could soon have a workfare programme without any work.

The revolt against workfare spreads (http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/02/scheme-greggs-grayling)

The similarities between the Con/Dem coalition and our own Nationalist/Socialist coalition become more marked.