Remember in the old days when slaveowners had to at least feed and clothe their human chattels? How quaint. The new, highly-profitable corporate ones won’t even have to do that:
Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.
Under the government’s work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury’s and a multitude of other big-name businesses.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers “express an interest” in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked.
Young people have told the Guardian that they are doing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour and have to be available from 9am to 10pm.
Work 30 hours a week for 53 pounds from the taxpayer, the benefit of that labour going not to the community but to profitable private companies.
And how much more profitable will these private companies be able to be now they can force staff to work for free (with a minimal amount of food and shelter covered by the taxpayer) or starve!
I hope Tony Abbott is watching. I bet the Business Council of Australia is already drawing up the formal policy, apologising to members that its British colleagues got there first.