Yesterday’s Tesco workfare twitterstorm, which I was a part of – tweeting, retweeting and asking the Guardian to investigate – has brought into sharp focus the question of should major corporations have to pay people on their night shift or can they leave it to the tax payer?
A Jobcentre Plus advert indicated that Tesco was looking for Nightshift workers on “JSA + Expenses.” See the advert here bit.ly/wb7lBE . Tesco says it was a mistake on JCP’s part. It should have been an advert for work experience with a guaranteed job interview.
As someone who helps people get back to work, I know that recent work experience can certainly help you secure a job. And projects Like Marks and Start, on which I worked, are fantastic examples of big organisations offering people the chance to find out about working in retail. But does that make it legitimate for a major corporation to use people on benefits to stack their shelves at night for the cost of a bus pass. I say No.
I think that the Welfare to Work community needs to get to grips with the difference between Work Experience and Exploitation. As well as being right morally, it makes sense. We mainly work with people who need entry level jobs, if those jobs start to disappear because people have to work for free then our people will be further away from work. Not closer.
Read more here
The Telegraph – Tesco moves to calm Twitter row http://tgr.ph/zBHiRJ
The Guardian Work for free and ‘be of benefit’ to a multinational like Tesco http://bit.ly/zxW1kV