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The Public and Commercial Services union, the main union for staff in jobcentres and benefits offices, is encouraging its members and supporters to join demonstrations against a fast food giant participating in a controversial government scheme providing free labour

The union is supporting demonstrations across the UK today (29 February) against McDonald's which, unlike some other major companies and charities, is still signed up to the government's work experience programme.

The union has pointed out that just £500 million - the amount recently clawed back in tax from Barclays bank - would provide full-time jobs above the UK living wage for the 34,000 16 to 24-year-olds involved in the scheme.

Today's protests in London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Leeds and Leicester are being organised by the Right to Work campaign, to which PCS is affiliated.

PCS is opposed to the use of workfare schemes - and in 2010 won the backing of other unions at the Trades Union Congress annual conference - saying the latest schemes exploit young people at a time of high and rising unemployment.

A national day of action by campaign group Boycott Workfare will be held on Saturday 3 March.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The campaigns against workfare are exposing the true nature of these schemes that are providing a pool of free labour for big businesses that could afford to pay proper wages.

"Instead of exploiting our young people and seeking to blame them for mass unemployment, the government should be helping to create long-term paid jobs and training to get people off benefits and into meaningful work."

 

Written by Scott Buckler
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:04

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