Following insider information that Willesden Homebase (now owned by Argos) was still using unpaid labour through the Coalition's Workfare scheme it was picketed today by Brent Housing Action, Brent Fightback and Kilburn Unemployed Workers.
The protesters pointed out to customers that people should be paid at least a living wage for the job they are asked to do. Being forced to work for no pay, with the threat that benefits will be removed for non-compliance, just makes matters worse.
With the Homebase and Argos parent group, Home Retail Group, expecting £80m profit this year, they can afford to pay their workers. After all they can afford to pay their CEO £1.1m while at the same time cutting overtime and hours at its Haringey store.
At least one customer decided not to shop at Homebase after hearing the protesters' case and others reduced their purchases. One customer's children started a spontaneous chant of 'Homebase-pay your workers'. Customers were generally responsive and shared their own stories of housing and employment difficulties.
The campaign is asking people to:
- Boycott Homebase until they agree to pay staff properly
- Speak to the manager of the Willesden branch and say you don't agree with them using unpaid labour
- Contact Homebase HQ on 0845 603 6677 or 01908 692 301 or firstname.lastname@example.org