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(en) UK, Campaign Against Prison Slavery news - Details of a recent visit to Wilko's*

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 15 Feb 2004 22:47:39 +0100 (CET)

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Looking For Part-Time Work in Wilko's
According to the UK Hardware store 'Wilkinson's' , their use of
compulsory prison labour is,"helping to rehabilitate prisoners and
increase their employability".

This is of course a thin smokescreen for ruthless opportunism
since it's hard to imagine how packing small items for Wilko's is
going to rehabilitate prisoners, who prior to the intervention of
these greedy private companies, had far greater access to
education and were able to learn proper trade skills.

Companies like Wilkinson's merely see this slave labour force as
something to exploit in order to increase their profits, and all
subsidised by the taxpayer.

The UK Home Secretary David Blunkett is now moving to get
prisoners to pay for their own incarceration by introducing
so-called part-time prisons, so no doubt they're going to also be
required to do part-time jobs.

As prisoners already do work for Wilkinson's (being paid the
princely sum of £1.20 per day) we thought the firm might be
interested in employing a part-time prisoner in one of their stores.
Suitably dressed, Insecurity Guard Mark Barnsley and Part-Time
Prisoner Wolfie went to Hull Wilkos to find out.

Entering the store handcuffed together the pair first tested just
how little £1.20 will buy you in Wilkinson's.A pack of toilet rolls,
the sort of item prisoners are increasingly having to pay for
themselves, proved too dear

But Guard Barnsley was very interested by the bags of 'mixed

Just the type of thing prisoners are forced to pack for Wilkos.

Our prisoner was less impressed as of course he's none too fond of

Moving on, they decided it was time to try and see what Wilko's
attitude to employing part-time prisoners would be, none too
forthcoming of course, with nothing actually available.

We strongly suspect they'd be no keener to employ the
ex-prisoners who've previously slaved for them inside, not least
since unlike in prison they'd have to pay them minimum wage.

The Hull store did present one opportunity though, in the form of a
photo booth

which Guard Barnsley thought might be a good place to take
Wolfie's new ID photo.

Campaign Against Prison Slavery
See the pictures at:
* From: http://www.londonclasswar.org/news.htm :
On this page we will bring you London Class War press releases,
comments and news, as well as a list of updates made to this site.

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