There is widespread outrage today about Tesco’s unashamed exploitation of unemployed individuals via the governments’ ‘mandatory work activities’ which are intended to be of benefit to the community. Tesco is far from alone on a long list of multinational companies taking advantage of this free labour source. To their credit Sainsbury’s and Waterstones are amongst a small band of large companies pulling out of the initiative which forces the unemployed to work in often menial jobs in order to receive their Job Seekers Allowance (a return of around £1.80 per hour but bear in mind JSA is intended to support people as they seek proper, meaningful employment). If the individual does not partake in the forced work placement they risk losing benefits for up to three years! Slavery is alive and well in the 21st century – but all is okay, as Tesco’s shelves are fuller than ever.

Boycott Tesco painting

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. Join the boycott of Tesco...

I’ve boycotted Tesco for a while now (as part of my ongoing life goal to ‘boycott my blacklisted companies’). But this story really is just a drop in the ocean of Tesco’s immoral business practice. Consider also:

– their widespread exploitation of suppliers across the world forcing many out of business
– their aggressive advertising campaigns making business impossible for many local traders
– their broken promises about the recruitment of long term unemployed individuals (promises made to secure planning permission for new stores)
– their holding councils to ransom over land that the authorities want to use for social housing projects
– their use of RFID chips which invade the privacy of customers

By the way, all of the general public’s comments today on Tesco’s Facebook page have mysteriously disappeared. It appears they are not a fan of freedom of speech either.

Every Little Hurts. Please consider joining me in boycotting Tesco…

For more information read The Guardian’s article ‘Work for free and ‘be of benefit’ to a multinational like Tesco’ or visit the ‘Boycott Tesco’ website.

About Jon Maiden

Founder of Goalvanise which enables people to create their Life List online, and inspires and supports them to achieve their life goals. Check out the Goalvanise blog here or my personal blog here.

10 responses »

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is ASDA allowed?

  2. Jon Maiden says:

    Alas, as far as I’m aware ASDA are part of the scheme too. If you’re after an ethical supermarket then the Co-op is the best of the major ones. Morrisons is good too – it is pioneering a few employment schemes to help get the long term unemployed back into work. But then there’s always shopping locally, using independent retailers or markets as I’m trying to do much more. But I don’t think any of the major supermarkets are anywhere near as bad as Tesco from what I’ve both read and seen first hand…

  3. That tory tosser who's equally as crap at cricket... says:

    Can you do one of your rants about HSBC? They’re total bastards :o)

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Yes, I think that HSBC’s tax avoidance, let alone the irresponsible banking practice and unwillingness to loan to small businesses, certainly warrants a rant! If you take a look at some of my other posts though (search ‘current affairs’ in the category drop down) then the banks collectively certainly do get some coverage. They’ll no doubt continue to feature too seeing as the government has pushed banking reform back until 2019!

  4. G says:

    I actually have a bigger beef with the retail banks than the investment banks. The investment banks make a fortune if they’re allowed to, hence my enthusiasm for the transaction tax. It would be almost painless for them and generate massive returns. The retail banks deliver staggering profits in a largely unethical fashion and are appalling employers in many respects too.

    • Jon Maiden says:

      I agree. I think the lack of willingness to even consider the Tobin Tax on financial transactions reveals the wider intent of this government… divide and rule: let the plebs squabble and fight over the crumbs as the already bloated rich continue to get fatter on the cake…

  5. Stephen says:

    “bear in mind JSA is intended to support people as they seek proper, meaningful employment”

    I wonder whether this is still the case. Maybe there was a time when it was supposed to help people get through periods of unemployment, but is that genuinely still the case?

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Yes, as far as I know, it is. There was an independent study carried out recently which revealed that only a tiny percentage of people abuse the benefits system (less than 1% in the case of disability benefits). So for the vast majority it is a system to support people as they seek meaningful employment. The problem at the moment is the lack of employment opportunities, meaningful or otherwise. And the Workfare scheme only makes things worse by substituting genuine job creation for free labour.

  6. Jon says:

    Another reason to boycott them is they sell foie gras in Hungary and live turtles in China, both extremely cruel practices UK supermarkets would not dare to promote.

    Basically a morally bankrupt company. Sainsburys are much better or Waitrose if you’re feeling wealthy!

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Thanks for this comment Jon. I wasn’t aware they were doing that. Yet more morally repugnant actions to add to a very long list of shame! Despite living right next to a Tesco superstore I’ve not spent a penny with them for years now. Sainsburys are much better as you suggest – or the Coop, or Morrisons or market traders. Plenty of alternatives for consumers should they find the conviction to shop ethically.

      PS No one can afford Waitrose!! 😉

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