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Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty protests against workfare exploitation at LearnDirect offices

Workfare contractor LearnDirect’s bosses told to get themselves a proper job as demonstrators occupy Edinburgh offices

Workfare contractor LearnDirect’s bosses were told to get themselves a proper job yesterday when demonstrators occupied their Edinburgh offices.

Over a dozen protesters from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty swept into the firm’s Morrison Street headquarters, with banners making their message clear: “If you exploit us we will shut you down!”

The welfare privateer has been handed lucrative public-sector contracts as part of Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s widely-reviled “mandatory work activity” and “community work placements,” which demand up to six months’ unpaid work on pain of losing jobseekers’ allowance.

Demonstrator Michael Cormack told the Morning Star he and his comrades aimed to make the new workfare scheme unworkable.

“We were supporting one guy who was already volunteering at Christian Aid and helping organise their book fair. He was ordered to stop doing that work and was told to go stock shelves at the Salvation Army bookshop,” said Mr Cormack.

“It was completely absurd.”

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