Monday, May 2, 2005

Work for the dole and prison industry slavery

Government and Corporations to cash in on free labour

Work for the dole certainly offers a lot of variety. The impression given by the government is that most unemployed do creative and helpful work assisting the community.

Yes, there are-some work for the dole projects like this but even these type of work for the dole projects displace community and social workers. However, a large proportion, perhaps the majority of projects are not fun. They do not enhance your personality. They don't even count as training or as work experience.

Several examples are as follows:

In Guilford you can assist in repairing, renovating and repainting the local community centre.

In Bankstown the activity is landscaping and the bush regeneration.

In Bass Hill your work options include gardening, child care, general office duties and administration.

In Western Sydney you can be involved in landscaping, redesigning and revamping sections of the public housing estate.

And all the above should be carried out by fully paid unionised workers.

Work for the dole is the unemployed being forced to work for nothing. Councils, community organisations, schools, hospitals and others cash in on this free labour. They don't have to employ and pay proper workers. This is slavery.

Unionists should not merely oppose work for the dole because it is oppressive against unemployed people - which it is. They should oppose it because it deprives workers of jobs and is a bosses weapon to drive down wages and break down conditions.

We all have an interest in smashing this oppressive programme supported by both Liberals and Labor Parties.

If you agree with this, contact StandUp by e-mailing or, phone: (02) 9516 4486.

United we can defeat this reactionary scheme.


Prisoners are also a source of cheap labour. Prisons represent new jobs and the infusion of new money into some rural communities previously suffering from economical depression.

Not only is there money to be made in private prisons, there is money to be made out of prison labour.

In Victoria prisoner labour brings in $5.5 million per year. In Queensland prisoners are working in the River of Gold Slate Mine. They get $5 a day, with a productivity bonus of $2 a day. The contractors certainly have a river of gold with those sorts of labour costs.

They also take away jobs from the community like the electrical trades where workers in prison are being paid 10 cents an hour compared to say $20 and hour if it were a job taken up by a contractor working outside the prison.

Encouraging the government to spend more money in the right areas will ensure less people go to jail.

There should be more alternatives to prison, more support to the community from government-initiatives like education, TAFE, outreach centres, mentoring, drug rehabilitation and education, all of which prevents crime and will stop people being used as slave labour and taking away paid community work.

By StandUp and Just Us 2 May 2005

Illustration: Work for the Dole

Making young people responsible or blaming the victims.

What will be the consequences of the scheme?

There is a genuine concern that the Work for the Dole scheme will provide a pool of 'free labour' to replace existing jobs. Those who are most vulnerable to losing their work are low paid, part time and casuals and those with insecure tenure. These are often the unskilled; women and people from a non- English speaking background.

Given that the fastest growing sector of employment is low wage employment there is the possibility that Work for the Dole will further depress wages and conditions.

This could occur because low paid workers are essentially competing with unpaid workers for the same work. The changes in industrial relations legislation and the incremental deregulation of the labour market serve to exacerbate this.


'Social Services cheats' may face election next time around
The Federal fascist HoWARd Government is attacking the poor and underprivileged again (on all fronts - now including social services, disabled, single mothers, Medicare rebate and IVF treatment.

Single parents deserve a living wage and not persecution
Being a single parent is hard work. It means a lot of responsibility. But you are not paid properly to do this work. You are paid way below what is recognised as the poverty line. StandUp! Believes that looking after a child is a job and should be paid for like any other job.

Labor sees problems in welfare proposals
The Federal Opposition says proposed changes to Australia's welfare system are a cost-cutting measure and will leave disability and sole parent pensioners worse off.

Dismantle the war machine, slash taxes, privatisation and keep social services The Centre for Independent Studies report says the flat-rate income tax of 10 per cent would ensure most Australians could afford to pay for essential services such as health and education, instead of relying on welfare [social service] payments.

Costello to force single mums to look for work?
SINGLE mothers would be forced to look for work once their children reached school age, under a draconian welfare package outlined last night by fascist Pastor Peter Costello to bolster funds to spend on military hardware and the ongoing illegal and degrading war in Iraq.

The HoWARd Government is simply robbing the disabled blind
KERRY O'BRIEN: Federal cabinet adjourned today still undecided about the final formula for what has become politically one of the toughest reform challenges the Government will face this term. For the past two decades, the disability support pension has been one of the fastest growing welfare payments [social security payments.]

Encouragement is the key to social-services-to-work programs
Corporate Welfare! I think we should start with Ingeus Company. Telling us what we already know for $$$$!

Peter Saunders shake-up is long overdue: Welfare Not Warfare
Peter Saunders: Many DSP claimants are older men with limited skills who have had difficulty finding work?

Welfare Reform for Warfare Expenditure?
John Howard: "Self-evidently we would have liked the major combat to have gone differently ... [but] coalition withdrawal or defeat is unimaginable."

Govt plots post-July strategy?
Fascist Prime Minister insists he is not on a mission to punish welfare recipients [social services.]

HoWARd 'determined' to make the disabled woRK?
The Federal Government is considering a system of "coercion" and incentive to force the disabled to work. But what happened to 6 billion-budget surpluses? Why do they need to force disabled people to work? Do they need more money and less disabled people? Or do would they rather spend the money on WAR?

Opposition pension claims valid
The Federal Governments secret agenda to cut pensions, including the disability and single parent payments while spending billions on military hardware is just too much for most disabled people to accept.

Thousands march for disability protest
"We are not prepared to go back to the dark ages. This has to be reversed," Mr Preston said. "We are hoping that the community sees that we shouldn't be taking money from people with disabilities. These people have had it tough all their lives (and) there is already more unmet need than we can cope with."

Howard's Job Network Bailout
Up to 670,000 people on disability support pensions will be encouraged to sign up to the Job Network under a radical new plan to get disabled people off welfare and into work.

THE HILLSONG'S ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF ' NEO-LIBERALISM' Only a bent mind would envisage the possibility or think of the concept that a '2nd Neo-Liberal 'front' promoted by the right and posing as a Church would enter politics under the flag of "Family First Party".

Costello, Howard's Disciple

JOHN HOWARD AND PETER Costello lost their vision for Australia from the time they were elected and embarked on a vision for the neo-Liberals.

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel?
Well praise the Lord the light is Hell bent here on Peter Costello, treasurer of the Howard Government who now has his own "flock" of onward Christian Soldiers.

Corporate Welfare

Corporate welfare or how to steal social services?
Ever wondered why there are so many homeless, why we need a 10 pc GST, lack of services for mental disability, still paying off the Olympics, poor public transport planning etc etc etc?


Work for the dole is legal slavery
Work for the dole was originally sold to us by Howard as a warm and fuzzy light work project. We would be working for nothing but we would be enjoying giving back something to the community, so it was reckoned.

Peter Costello commended this result in his budget speech. Even if we were to believe this figure it still means more than half a million living at a level much lower than that is recognised as poverty.

Mark Latham's, token gestures for older unemployed
StandUp appreciates the fact that Mark Latham is concerned about older unemployed people. His specialist job network proposal aimed at older people might provide a bit of assistance.

Work for the dole failure for two thirds
THE Un-Australian: " MORE than a third of the people who completed the Howard Government's work-for-the-dole programs last year were in jobs or studying within three months of finishing.

Work for the dole? $10.00?
StandUp! Wishes to draw your attention to a serious attack on all of us--work for the dole. We were assured that unemployed would not be forced to work in areas where employed workers would normally be employed. This has shown to be a lie! Under work for the dole, unemployed have been forced to carry out; concreting, tiling, landscaping, repairs, renovation, painting, gardening, nurses and teachers aid work.

A major independent study commissioned by the Government and released today under Freedom of Information by The Australian newspaper indicates that the 'Work for the Dole' program actually reduces the job prospects of unemployed people.

Youth welfare system unfair: ACOSS
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is warning urgent action is needed to fix youth poverty and disincentives for the unemployed to improve their job prospects.

Bringing up children Can we afford it?
Peter Costello expects us to carry out our patriotic duty by going home and having more children. But for most people it is a struggle to bring up one child let alone two or three.

Federal Budget: Tax cuts for the rich!
For the Howard government, unemployed people are not even worth thinking about.

Private job network agency blues
Can you trust a private job network agency? No you can't! A friend of ours is registered at MTC Marrickville.

Indigenous Social Justice Association Djadi Dugarang

Centrelink puts the screws on prison debt
A 1999 study by the Brisbane Prisoners Legal Service revealed that on leaving prisoners had an average debt of $14,031. Almost one in five had a debt to Centrelink while in prison. This debt arose as a result inability to cancel things such as leases, Social Security payments, utilities and telephones.

Democrats approve tougher welfare penalties: But how does that pan out?
There used to be an old saying in Australia" if your hungry steal a sheep and leave the pelt on the fence.

Six weeks, six months, six years: inmates have little chance of making fresh start Even prisoners who serve short sentences are likely to suffer long-term consequences, including increased rates of homelessness and unemployment.

Military Spending

Howard: We as a nation have got to invest heavily in defence?
Fascist Prime Minister John HoWARd has indicated the Government will make major changes to work place laws, cut disability support forcing the disabled to work and increase his defence commitment.

Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.

Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.

Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.

Prison Industry

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.

State of the prison system
The prison industry is in the process of an even more dramatic expansion. Private firms now own prisons and utilize their inmates as a labor force. This source of cheap labor is fed by harsher prison sentencing and mandatory incarceration under the "Three-Strikes law." As prisons become a bigger business, it's easy to see how convenient and lucrative such laws can be for those who own the prisons and its prisoners.

Three-Strikes law mandatory sentencing
Private firms now own prisons and utilize inmates as a source of cheap labor. Prisons also represent new jobs and the infusion of new money into some rural communities previously suffering from economical depression. In addition to jobs, prisons fuel a variety of high- and low-tech industries, including surveillance and electronic monitoring, food service, medicine, supplies, health care, drug treatment programs, telecommunications, lenders, architectural firms, and the construction trades (including masonry, fencing, barbed wired, etc.) as the prison industry continues to boom.