Tesco facing more protests over unpaid jobs

tesco NEWA group of campaigners called Right to Work, backed by unions PCS, Unite and Unison, are joining other anti-workfare groups to protest against Tesco stores following the unpaid work experience row which all kicked off last week.

Mark Dunk not only has a vaguely amusing name, but has said the group was planning a day of action on Wednesday which included a sit-in protest at a Tesco store in Bishopsgate, central London.

This follows a group of campaigners forcing the Tesco Express branch at Portcullis House near the Houses of Parliament to close for an hour over the weekend.

If you missed the furore, it started because of this advert.

Tesco have since amended the advert, saying it was down to a mistake caused by an IT processing error. They claim it was supposed to a placement offered under the Government's "sector-based work academy scheme".

Tesco are also apparently meeting up with Chris Grayling at the Department of Work and Pensions this week to try and remove any link between the voluntary work experience scheme and receipt of benefits. Sainsbury's have already pulled out of offering mandatory work experience schemes to jobless claimants.

Tesco has explained that the advert was "a mistake caused by an IT error by Jobcentre Plus" with a spokesperson adding: "We understand the concern that those who stay in the scheme longer than a week risk losing their benefits if they drop out before the end of their placement. We have suggested to DWP that, to avoid any misunderstanding about the voluntary nature of the scheme, this threat of losing benefit should be removed."


  • Dick
    So people are protesting because Tesco are not breaking the law. What do they want Tesco to do? Protest against the people making the laws, not those that follow them.
  • bob
    Probably a bit misleading to say "unpaid". They work and in return they continue to receive benefits if they've not been in work long term. I think other countries practice this as well.
  • Mike L.
    I prefer to stick my penis in them.
  • Capability B.
    Unfortunately we are stuck with the people who makes the laws until the next General Election. all the protest in the world wont change that. What we CAN do is protest at the major retailers taking advantage of the unemployed because the government sets up a scheme that allows them to do so. As several of the major retailers who run this "scheme" have now backed away from it, we can continue to direct our protest at those who still support it. Eventually they will get fed up with the bad PR and back out also. If sufficient numbers of employers back out,the scheme will eventually have to be scrapped. Result for the protesters. And far more efficient than protesting in Downing Street.
  • Alexis
    I think the point is that Tesco get free labour, and the government puts the claimant in a situation where they can cut their benefit if they drop out the slave labour. The poor saps who get put on these schemes are the ones who have degrees but are trying their hardest to get a job and are only on jobseekers to get the money together to travel around to interviews. If the Jobcentre had their way, people with PhDs would be flipping burgers for the rest of their life instead of trying to get the money they're entitled to and making something of themselves.
  • Capability B.
  • Jennie T.
    Having a PHD does not entitle you to a job. ..especially if your one of the dumb fucks who thought a degree in Sociology or fashion was going to get you anywhere in life.
  • no.6
    @Jennie Talia Agreed! I would add Arts, Media Studies, Business Studies and Politics degrees to the pointless pile.
  • Alexis
    Me and the missus both have arts degrees and an arts based jobs :-p
  • Mike H.
    Alexis - You mean arsed based degreess and arsed based jobs you illiterate twat!
  • Nick T.
    "degreess" "illiterate twat". Big shout to all irony fans there.
  • no.6
    @Alexis You maybe one of the luckier ones then IF you got Arts based job you were directly aiming for in the first place instead of being currently forced into different Arts based position. You may disagree but I can't see a degree been such a really such as necessary step in getting employment in these Arts field. Things like having actual having talent in the first place and gaining actual experience to build a portfolio of work are surely going to be more important factors to success than Academic based qualification . Also knowing the right people and just good old fashion luck will major roles too.
  • James d.
    you think business studies is a waste of time?
  • Popcorn D.
    "Having a PHD does not entitle you to a job." Having a supermarket doesn't entitle you to free labour.
  • will
    you think a PhD is comparable to a bachelor's degree?
  • James
    I'm struggling to see what's wrong with this scheme, it forces those people who are on benefits and not working (out of choice) to give something back. And if they drop out, they lose their benefits, how is this different from any other job? If you quit then you stop getting paid. It's a stepping stone out to independence. I do agree though that those with degrees, qualifications etc who are actively seeking jobs should not be forced to do this.
  • you
    @James - So everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others? There seems to be a general feeling on this thread that having a degree automatically entitles you to something more than everyone else? If you're unemployed, then you're unemployed, regardless of whether you have 1 GCSE or a PHD. Yes, you may be more qualified for a higher level role, but thats not the same as being more entitled to ANY role. I have a degree as well as a bunch of work related qualifications, and if it all fell apart tomorrow, you're right - i wouldn't end up working in Tesco for my JSA - I'd get a job, any job, whether that be McDonalds, sweeping the streets, anything. I certainly wouldnt be sat on my arse thinking that the world owes me £30k a year because i went to college.
  • Zleet
    @James Why bother hiring staff when you can fill all posts with JSA slaves, the icing on the cake being you can fire your current staff as they will probably turn up in a few weeks to work for free. If the government wanted this to be a working scheme then make it voluntary, include a free bus pass and top up the wages to the UK minimum (for a limited number of weeks). That way if some Chav gets to like the idea of working for a living wage he may go off and get a job rather than forced to work for the same shitty money that will leave him apathetic or even resentful of the working life.
  • Rob
    I blame the foxes, without their distraction everyone would have jobs and a decent work ethic.
  • Kevin
    @Zleet I see what you are saying but it comes down to the point of why should anyone get money for doing nothing? Take Tesco out of the equation and put in something like picking up rubbish, helping out at a local library etc is it just as bad? They would still be 'working' for no extra money. The reason you wouldn't is that despite the idea working for someone like Tesco is a skill that you learn. If you only have unskilled people that just restricts the roles you can give them. Some roles will always need the skilled people so you can't get rid of everyone. Not that they want to anyway, they need continuity and the ability to plan ahead, not have some brain dead slackers turning up late each day, nicking the cheese and then swearing at some old granny ;) In some places we are getting to a place where there are 2-3 generations who have never worked. Some of course just can't get anything but also theres a lot of people that would never work anyway. Unless you make them. It is time to make them. This would be true even without all the cuts, it just makes it even clearer that this is not a time to allow people to sit back and get paid for nothing when some of us are taking massive paycuts etc just to keep out jobs.
  • no.6
    @James dewitt I would think the 3-6+ year studying and 10's of thousand of pound required to get a Business Degree is a lot of money and time to spend when you could spend that time/money more wisely. Be it using that time/money to either start a business from scratch, join a company from the bottom and make your way up or by learning a unique skill/trade or degree which would be basic for your future business career. I find it unlikely that many of the successful people who are in business or have their own business would actual have business based degree compared to the option I mentioned above. @will Theirs an actual Cat with PhD ;) : http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/02/01/believe-it-zoe-the-cat-phd/
  • James
    @ you: no no no, that's not what I meant. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that people that have made an effort to get an education are likely to try and get job anywhere (as you say), it's not fair on that they should end up in the same place as someone who has chosen not to bother getting a job. But I appreciate the challenge... Looks like a new development now anyway...see you in the next article!
  • Dr. W.
    @you It's PhD, not PHD. The h doesn't stand for anything.
  • Popcorn D.
    "this is not a time to allow people to sit back and get paid for nothing when some of us are taking massive paycuts etc just to keep out jobs" If you're worried about job security, your enemies are big businesses like Tesco and shameless tax ripoffs like A4E. They're doing everything they can to get rid of as many paid jobs as possible. You'd better hope your own employer doesn't kick you out on your arse and put an unpaid jobseeker in your place. Yeah, there are some lazy scroungers out there, but if you want them to get to work, there need to be jobs.

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