Opinion Former Article

BFAWU: A Nail In The Coffin For Workfare?

Let us congratulate Cait Reilly for hopefully sounding the first death knell for 'Workfare'. The judgment of Miss Reilly’s appeal confirms what many, including Boycott Workfare and the BFAWU have been saying about this horrid scheme since its inception.

by Ian Hodson, President, BFAWU National President

It is modern day slavery that has absolutely nothing to do with training or finding meaningful employment. It’s an ideologically driven agenda, spearheaded and championed by the likes of Iain Duncan Smith. Both he and his cohorts in government have been hell-bent on bringing slavery back to the UK since they came to power by default in 2010.


This coalition has no concern or compassion for the unemployed, the vulnerable or the sick. The Tories’ only concerns are making sure that those who helped them steal power on a technicality are rewarded with free labour at the expense of the taxpayer and ensuring that any debts incurred are met by those outside their inner circles.

Cait Reilly’s appeal decision confirms that the many groups demonised by the government and their sycophants in the media are finally standing up for themselves. The Tories, propped up by the spineless Liberal Democrat quislings in the coalition, wilfully targeted the wrong people. They chastised them, exploited them, punished them and neglected them, whilst giving them no guarantee whatsoever of gaining full-time employment. Despite the Department of Work and Pensions’ attempts to play this embarrassing defeat down, the bottom line is that the appeal court has found the current practice of ‘Workfare’ to be completely wrong.

We should thank campaign groups such as Boycott Workfare, Right to Work and UKuncut, without whom the exploitation of our young people, along with many others may well have gone unnoticed. I also want to congratulate our members and stewards who refused to allow Workfare into their workplaces. Many went as far as to threaten strike action if their employers so much as considered signing up to it.

The BFAWU’s  position has been clear since day one: We support young people being given opportunities to gain employment through proper training. We also believe that work should pay, with wages negotiated through the normal industrial mechanisms. Many of the companies who decided to take advantage of this scheme are profitable organisations who happily abused the British people. They should now not only withdraw and apologise for this despicable behaviour, but also offer payments to those they have exploited.


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