Sue Ryder, the hospice charity, has released a statement saying that it is making a “phased withdrawal” from mandatory workfare schemes. This follows several days of pressure from the public via Facebook, Twitter and email to tell this hitherto well-regarded charity that people who give up their time for them are only volunteers if they do so of their own free will.
The tone of the statement, and previous ones, is somewhat passive-aggressive and paints the charity as a victim. In the light of this, we need to keep an eye on this “phased withdrawal”, but this nonetheless remains an important victory.
The message to all corporations and charities hoping to take advantage of an army of enforced labour is clear: IF YOU EXPLOIT US, WE WILL SHUT YOU DOWN!