Activists went into stores and chanted slogans such as “No Pay! No Way!” and “Stephen Farry hear us say: we won’t work, If you won’t pay” and distributed leaflets naming and shaming companies.
Paddy Meehan – a call centre worker & young trade union activist – spoke inside Primark, the first stop in the tour. Mr Meehan said:
“Last year, Primark made £542 million – a 35% increase on the previous year! Yet it is hiring unemployed people through these slave labour schemes and it has frozen wages for two years in a row. We support the struggle of Primark workers against poverty wages which go hand in hand with these schemes.
At the second stop, McDonalds, Neil Moore a tech student said:
“McDonalds made £1.08 billion profits last year in their UK company alone yet 3/4 of participants don’t receive a permanent contract. We demand guaranteed jobs for all at end of all training!”
At the third stop, Topshop, Robert Sharkey a school student said:
“Topshop is involved in workfare schemes and it is also embroiled in tax-evasion scandals to the tune of 1.2billion! We say we won’t pay for the crisis make the super-rich pay!”
At Poundland, Kevin Henry, a unemployed graduate said:
“Poundland made £31.7 million profit in 2011, yet it uses a range of slave labour schemes including Steps to Work. Like many other companies, they have already been forced out of one of these schemes. This shows that protests work and we can be beat the fat cats!”
Notes: Youth Fight for Jobs & Education is a campaign that demands an end to youth unemployment and exploitation. We demand the government provides real training, real jobs and a real future for young unemployed, disabled and single parents that are now being forced into degrading slave labour.
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