Not only is important in of itself, as any one of us could find us facing compulsory unpaid labour, it can be part of resurrecting narratives of class struggle and working class solidarity. It is essential to get across the fact that the introduction of ‘free’ work undermines the position of all who are paid for it.
As I described in my February article ‘Why Workfare is an Attack on the Entire Working Class’:
"Capitalism is based on exploitation. That's to say at root, it is exploitation. Without exploitation there could be no profit, because profit is the difference between the value of a worker's labour and their compensation for it. This contradiction is the foundation of all class struggle - the employers always want to extract more value from their employees, and the employees desire the opposite. How much better for an employer then - and how much worse for the employee - for there to be a wage of zero!”Today we began at the Poundland store on
We then journeyed to the Tesco on
The revolution clearly has a long way to go, but it was a positive day, and we will be back for more very soon! Every pound lost to Poundland due to workfare is a pound they could potentially choose to pay an employee - just £6.20 per hour would fund a minimum wage! And as for Tesco, they are of course absolute giants, but as they never fail to say, ‘Every little helps!’
The Liverpool Claimant Network write-up can be read here.