Socialist Worker

Protests against ‘slave labour’ spread across Britain

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2293

Workfare protesters target a Holiday Inn in London (Pic: Smallman )

Workfare protesters target a Holiday Inn in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Protesters exposed shops that exploit the government’s workfare scheme last Saturday.

Some 38 protests were held around the country as part of a national day of action called by Boycott Workfare.

In central London some 60 activists moved up and down Oxford Street, the city’s central shopping street.

Emily Watson from Boycott Workfare told Socialist Worker, “I’m unemployed and I don’t want to be exploited.”

Police flanked the demo and tried to block the entrance to each workfare shop before protesters arrived.

Officers confronted demonstrators who tried to occupy McDonald’s near Centrepoint. They stopped an occupation of WH Smith in the Plaza shopping centre. The protest finished at a Holiday Inn on Welbeck Street.

“We won’t be frightened off by Tory millionaires sending their police force to attack us,” said Right to Work activist Mark Dunk. “We will keep protesting until these firms pay their staff and workfare is scrapped.”

Marie Lynam from Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group said, “The government is out to finish off the minimum wage. We must put pressure on the trade unions to take action.”

Other cities with protests include Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester.

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Article information

Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2293
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