PROJECT WORK MEANS LEGALISED SLAVERY

A message from claimants to workers in the Employment Service and Benefits Agency. Project Work is the beginning of compulsory workfare for all unemployed people in the UK. It's a major step in implementii implementito resist Project Work. Together we have the power to make this project unworkable!

Project Work is being imposed on 29 areas, covering approximatelyapproximatelyyk on 29 areas, covering approximatelyosing Project Work on 29 areas, covering approximatelyng compulsory work for benefits. It's an attack on both the unemployed and - because of the way workfare will undermine wages and conditions - on all workers. It's got to be stopped.

We propose that claimants and benefit office workers join together one third of unemployed claimants in the UK. Edinburgh, Dundee, Lanarkshire, Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath areas are the Project Work schemes in Scotland.

COMPULSORY

Project Work is being forced on everyone between the ages of 18 and 50 ws of 18 and 50 who has been unemployed for over 2 years. All such claimants are being compelled to do 13 weeks compulsory work for benefits plus £10. Unemployed people who refuse to attend or leave early will lose benefit.

Schemes like Project Work and the Job Seekers Allowance were devised by the last Tory government as part of the same pro-rich anti working class policy as the attacks they made on your own conditions. Cutting public spending and benefits, holding down wages, boosting tax cuts and profits for the rich - they all go together.

Now the new Labour government are carrying on the same sort of policies. Not only are they continuing with the JSA and Projovernment are carrying on the same sort of policies. Not only are they continuing with the JSA and Project Work. If you don't think this is possible on your patch then do whatever you can, however small, to put a spanner in the works. Every little helps - and who knows maybe others will be inspired to join in, We invite benefit office workers, ull be inspired to join in, and resistance will spread.

We invite benefit office workers, union reps, and the Union branches to contact us to discuss how we can oppose Project Work and all the other attacks the government is making on us both. We also welect Work. They plan to force all 18 - 24 year olds who have been unemployed over 6 months to work for their benefits plus £15 per week (the so-called Welfare to Work scheme).

If Project Work and Welfare to Work succeed the next step will be full blown woo local charities have boycotted the scheme. Karen Spooner, chair of Humberside Voluntary Sector Alliance, says “We didn't think it was appropriate to offer placements, particularly in care work, to people who were compelled to be there under threat of losing their benefit.

This resistance is likely to be even stronger in Scotland. The Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations and Community Service Volunteers Scotland have announced their opposition. We will not be taking part, and most voluntary secrkfare like in the USA. Everyone unemployed will be forced to work for their benefits. Workers will be sacked and replaced with dole conscripts - as recently happened on the New York subway, and as happens here with young workers and YTS.

The Project Work pilot schemes in the Medway, Kent and on Humberside have met with widespread opposition. The local Councils and mostd mostrk pilot schemes in the Medway, Kent and on Humberside have met with widespread opposition. The local Councils and most providers will be reluctant to participate,' says Paul Zealey, national officer for Community Service Volunteers Scotland (both quotes from The Scotsman 12.12.96).

ACTION

It's this sort of action that's needed to stop Project Work. It's no good sayipeople saying it's wrong - and then doing nothing. Edinburgh Claimants, and similar claimants' groups country-wide, are committed to taking direct action to stop Project Work. We ask you to consider taking collective action to refuse to implese to implecome any information on government plans, which can be sent, anonymously if you wish, to the address below. Tel 0131 557 6242.

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