Today, activists including Liverpool Solidarity Federation members held an informational picket at Jobcentre Plus in Bootle. There, we handed out advice leaflets and Solfed workfare pamphlets to claimants, alongside more general leaflets to the public.
In all, we stayed there for about an hour and a half. The response we had from claimants and members of the public alike was overwhelmingly positive. Most took our leaflets gratefully, whilst more than a few people stopped to chat about workfare and our campaign against it. Several trade unionists from the local council also promised to take the information back to their branches as it affected their staff as well.
Given the responses that we got today, we will look to return to Bootle in the near future with more high profile action. We will also be looking to expand our Jobcentre-specific leafleting, which has so far occurred in Wavertree and Toxteth as well as Bootle. Workfare is an issue affecting people everywhere, but particularly in those areas hit by greater levels of poverty and unemployment. Talking to and empowering those who face having to do it is always a valuable first step towards succesful actions.
In the meantime, this Saturday we are holding another day of action against workfare providers in the City Centre. We urge everyone who can to come along and get involved. Even if you can't make it, there will be a communications blockade of Holland & Barrett - one of the prime targets of the Solfed campaign - that you can take part in from the comfort of your own home.
The fight against workfare is really gathering steam now, and people are really starting to get behind it virtually everywhere we go. The task now is to keep up that momentum, and bring welfare-to-work in all forms to a halt, once and for all!