Get a proper job!
Meet: 12.00 @ Department of Trade & Industry
Victoria Street, London SW1 O St James Park
Thursday 10 March 2005
Local actions on 11 March — go for it!
On 6-8 July this year at the exclusive golf and hotel complex at Gleneagles, Scotland, leaders of the world’s biggest economies will put their heads together and decide what they’ll do with us in the coming year. We will gather there and say a resounding NO to their plans.
In London on 10-11 March, employment ministers of the G8 nations have their own ‘mini-summit’. They also make decisions that affect our lives — where, how and under what conditions we work, what happens if we don’t work, and what awaits us upon retirement.
They have their own strange language to describe what they aim to impose. They call it ‘help’, ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘active ageing’ — they really mean compulsion to work in worse conditions for more people, and cutting pensions and benefits. They talk about ‘flexibility’, ‘harnessing human potential’; they really mean exploiting ‘human capital’. ‘Removing barriers’? That means casualisation, clawing back security and improvements that workers have won through years of struggle.
We are taking to the streets to assert our refusal to be human capital, raw material to be twisted and shaped for profit. We won’t be conscripted into meaningless toil that does not fulfill social needs. Compulsory work schemes as a condition for benefit are there to impose discipline and to control us. And when people are compelled to work, wages go down and workers in employment have less power.
Meanwhile, migrants and refugees who make it past the border police face more detention, denial of benefits — and exploitation as a cheap labour force. They are scapegoated and isolated as ‘bogus asylum seekers’, but it is only the bosses and the powerful who profit from insecurity, reduced pay and safety and state harrassment of the unemployed.
The last G8 meetings in the UK in 1998 focused on ‘employability’ and economic restructuring. Now we see social cuts, privatisation, ‘flexploitation’ and compulsory work schemes imposed throughout Europe and beyond. So what do the G8 employment ministers have in mind for us today? Let’s make those plans unworkable! This is just the beginning…
Bring costumes, music and noisemakers to mark the launch of a new JobcentrePlus scheme
New deal for the dead
To mark the meeting of the G8 employment ministers on 10 March, we will be launching a programme that will build on the achievements of initiatives such as New Deal for Partners, New Deal for Lone Parents, New Deal for Disabled People and New Deal for Over-50s. Since its inception in 1997 the New Deal has been a recognised success in imposing skills and training policies aimed at creating an adaptable, flexible and productive workforce. It has pioneered active labour market policies to prevent people from drifting into long-term unemployment or inactivity and becoming detached from the labour market.
We have therefore been working towards extending our successful welfare-to-work programme to embrace those sections of the population that remain economically inactive and by far the most detached. We are rolling out a plan to bring help to the most neglected and marginalised group — those who are no longer with us.
We believe there is a vast buried potential of labour power in this overlooked group. Therefore, we are setting up a pilot area known as Zone Of Mortality Bringing Inclusive Employment (ZOMBIE). The New Deal for the Dead will initially target those who have been dead for under six months, with the eventual aim of reaching the long-term dead. Those fulfilling criteria in the pilot area will be dug up for interviews with their own specialist personal advisors, followed by thirteen weeks of an Intensive Animation Period (IAP). Work placement will follow IAP. Employers will receive a subsidy of £70 per week, as well as enjoying the advantage of staff who have been given a good grounding in productive work habits.
If the UK is to remain competitive in the world market, all existing resources must be utilised. It is essential we seek out new sections of the populace to exploit. A scheme like New Deal for the Dead will not only deliver a vast reserve of able workers, it will also free up the land now used for cemeteries to be more profitably used for essential services such as carparks and offices for administering New Deal schemes.
Before 2005 there was no presumption that after death individuals needed to think about or engage with the labour market. Popular attitudes held that after years of unproductively drawing a pension and going to pottery classes, you will eventually get put in the ground. Once there, an individual can just lie there and do nothing. However, the results the New Deal show that such backward-looking public attitudes can be overhauled.
While we are extending help and support to deceased citizens, we have to make it clear that being dead is no excuse for not working. Those who do not wish to take up our offer of help will meet with the regime of sanctions and penalties that has enabled other New Deal schemes to work effectively and change the face of employment policy.
But even the dead get restless…
To find out more about resisting the G8 visit: www.dissent.org.uk