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Dwp Orders Man To Work Without Pay For Company That Let Him Go

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http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/03/dwp-benefits-electrician-work-placement-labour

A man who was let go at the end of a temporary job has been ordered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to work for the same firm for six months without pay.

Electronics specialist John McArthur, now unemployed, says he is living off 16p tins of spaghetti and without heating after being sanctioned by a jobcentre for refusing to work unpaid for LAMH Recycle in Motherwell, a Scottish social enterprise.

He says he was happy to work for LAMH under the now-defunct future jobs fund for the minimum wage in 2010-2011, but refuses on principle to do the same job unpaid.

McArthur, 59, says he is surviving on a monthly pension of £149 after the DWP stopped his unemployment benefit until January as punishment for his refusal to go on the 26-week community work placement (CWP).

For almost three months, McArthur has spent two hours each weekday morning parading outside the plant wearing a placard reading: “Say no to slave labour”.

“It was simply a case of: ‘Go here, work for nothing and if you don’t we’ll stop your subsistence level benefit,’” he said.

McArthur, who says he has been applying for 50 jobs a week without joy, said the CWP programme was “entirely exploitative” and came at the “expense of poor people who’ve got absolutely no choice”. He added: “They [the government] deny it’s forced labour, that you can say no, but forced doesn’t always mean physical, it can be psychological or economic.

I wonder what the story is behind this?

Can you be told to "volunteer" now? Free slave labour for business?

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Same job unpaid, but with benefits restored so not unremunerated.

I'm sure that notionally the job is "training" and reasonably the taxpayers do not want to be supporting people who refuse to make themselves employable by receiving training.

Of course, it mostly likely isn't really training - it's really just a job that someone should be paid to do.

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These community work placements are a huge scam.Like housing associations and ALMOs they are simply there to enrich the people who run them.Public sector/local government pension schemes,big salaries,as much sick pay as you want (6 months full pay forever half pay).

The government know this, but most companies have pulled out of workfare apart from the ones who dont value their reputation.Hence the government is now forcing more and more people into these community set ups.

The welfare bill needs drastic cutting,no doubt about that.This isnt how you do it.It saves nothing and costs more to deliver.

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DWP the sanctimonious bar stewards.

They tried to do the same to me after I had worked for them for two years. With some previous military experience I got compulsorily called up to serve in Iraq and they let me go (Job Centre) which I only found out about when I opened my front door after only just stepping off the place, P45 in a brown letter no note explaining why etcetera. In fairness to the Army they had a panel set-up to redress this and offered to help but as it was April (coming up to paragliding season) I opted to sign on ;)

My interventionist (a job I was quite used to from the other side of the desk) threatened to sanction my payment if I didn't apply for the lowest grade role currently available at the same job Centre I had previously worked for (principles aside a big pay cut as I had managed to get myself up the pay grade before with extra responsibilities (rostering others I kid you not) and time already served. I looked him in the eyes and told him simply, to do that I would go straight to the Sun newspaper. Stopped him dead in his tracks.

To this day there is a brass plaque in the DWP regional HQ commending them for employing reservists. Presented to then by my CO.

****s the lot of them.

This man is one step away from the revolution we deserve and good on him. Once we reach critical mass there will be no stopping this.

Edited by longtomsilver2

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I had friend of friend tell me that dwp made her do work experience at local chemist chain store. She was doing 37.5 hrs and taking all the overtime from paid staff.

not happy 2 weeks for her

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If you are working for below living wage and having to receive benefit top ups. You may as well work for nothing and just get benefits. Should come to around the same figure.

Story's like this stop people spending. Who would want to waste money on a new car and find that when you are treated like dirt you have no choice but to go along with it.

Better to burn the job centre down and have free board and lodgings in prison.

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This is quite unbelievable. I would not have thought that you were allowed to work on a no wage income.

Indeed at the places I have worked in the past interns were paid quite well and anyone suggesting that they would be prepared to work for free does not realise the legal problem.

Even apprentices straight out of school have to be paid.

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He says he was happy to work for LAMH under the now-defunct future jobs fund for the minimum wage in 2010-2011, but refuses on principle to do the same job unpaid.

Normally this shouldn't happen because if you're made redundant it's supposed to be because the job (emphasis on job) doesn't exist any more so there's no job to go back to at whatever wage. Otherwise it would be unfair dismissal.

If he's been sacked then why would the employer want him back.

Even so doing a job with electronics skills but with no wage (apart from unemployment benefit) does seem extremely exploitative - even if they're claiming he has to be trained anew for a different job to the old one.

As usual there seems to be plenty of detail missing from the story.

Edited by billybong

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This is really common in my area.

Hugely damaging state of affairs.

Why bother creating a real job when you can just hire state subsidised free labour instead?

It's inherently backward and more focused on fiddling unemployment statistics than anything else.

We've had a 25% fall in unemployment statistics, yet a rise in working HB claimants, with many forced to go self-employed and onto tax credits because "employers aren't hiring" (they no longer need to). A huge spike in those sanctioned for refusing to take part in such schemes as well.

Welcome to Osbrown's recovery and IDS's "success" at getting people back to work.

Edited by byron78

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This is pretty appalling; the guy in this story has protested, but sooner or later an individual will be treated similarly and will flip big time and the fall-out will not be pretty. They keep pushing and pushing, and eventually they will tip someone over the edge!

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This is really common in my area.

Hugely damaging state of affairs.

Why bother creating a real job when you can just hire state subsidised free labour instead?

It's inherently backward and more focused on fiddling unemployment statistics than anything else.

We've had a 25% fall in unemployment statistics, yet a rise in working HB claimants, with many forced to go self-employed and onto tax credits because "employers aren't hiring" (they no longer need to). A huge spike in those sanctioned for refusing to take part in such schemes as well.

Welcome to Osbrown's recovery and IDS's "success" at getting people back to work.

Exactly.That is why the figures to watch are the HB bill,the ESA bill and tax credits.In the last few months i know 6 people who have come off JSA.None has a job.3 have gone self employed tax credits,a few garden jobs around £40 a week etc.2 have gone onto ESA because the backlog is about a year if they appeal and its £30 more and 1 has had a baby and gone on income support/tax credits.Unemployment down by 6 but the welfare bill up by a lot.

IDS and the government know this is happening but cant stop it under present welfare laws.They need to lower ESA payments and get Universal Credit in to stop the self employed tax credit scam.They will scrap UC after the next election but there is a chance they might keep it for single/childless couples for this reason and change the tax credit laws.

IDS needs to learn the first lesson of welfare reform.If you make it punitive in one area while hugely generous in another people jump across.

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They [the government] deny it’s forced labour, that you can say no, but forced doesn’t always mean physical, it can be psychological or economic.

If the ability to say no was all it took to make a choice a free choice then being mugged would be a free choice- after all if a guy sticks a knife in your face and demands your wallet you can still say no-right?

So if you say yes it's not a robbery- it's a donation. :lol:

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They were pushing youngster`s into working as sorters at a waste recycling depot around my way ..... the company no longer use sanctioned laubour after 2 major fires

Good glad someone has some balls to do something about it.

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Is not the real truth, the state has been expanding massively under this government.

The culture created where companies no longer need to have a sound business plan as they can just rely on the DWP to provide free labor is a disaster.

If Liebor get in they'll be stuck as they can't afford the political fallout of rocketing unemployment if try to alter this.

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There but for the grace of God.

An army of poverty pimps 'only doing their jobs' has risen, costing more than any problem they 'solve.' This is pure politics; it dismisses economic reality - like the NHS with Labour, 'dealing' with the unemployed is a just cause.

Of course, making people work for free displaces jobs. How cruel to make someone work for nothing where they have been laid off. Hard to know where this will end - death for some. Not that LibLabCon care. Being tough on scroungers like the OP is worth votes. Scroungers at the top are fine.

Citizens income.

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"You'll be working for your benefits....forever."

Indeed.

Wooh, tax credits and workfare 'make work' thing are pure New Labour.

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This is just another step along the line back to the "good" old days, well if you are rich that is.

This has been discussed on the board before. I give the same reply those in power do not know when to stop, they will push it too far. The outcome will not be pretty. Why do you think the police have been equipped for major civil disturbances, why are we getting all these extra safety measures to protect against "terrorism".

Our government has technical capabilities and laws that past dictators would have loved all in the name of safety. If they could get away with slavery it would be imposed tomorrow.

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