Abolish Work for the Dole
Abolish Work for the Dole is a grassroots campaign to end forced and unpaid labour for people who on welfare payments. #AWFTD is led by people with experience in Work for the Dole (WFTD) and the brutal system of mutual obligations and has no affiliations with any political parties.
Our goals are clear on the path to full abolition: we want to get as many people out of the program as possible. If you’re stuck on a WFTD site or are being bullied into dangerous and humiliating activities to keep your welfare payment, please know that things aren’t hopeless, and you are not alone. We are here to help. If you want to get in touch you can reach us via awftd at antipovertycentre dot org.
FIRST STEPS: To get things started, we're running the largest ever survey of about all forms of coercive labour inflicted on unemployed and disabled people. Our personal experiences will be crucial in leading the campaign. If you or anyone you know who has done 'mutual' obligations (current or in the past), please complete the survey here: https://apcentre.formstack.com/forms/coercive_labour
The survey data will help us develop a report covering WFTD and other aspects of the jobactive program, and identify the worst offenders to target them in our campaign.
WHAT THE FUNDS ARE FOR: We need to cover initial costs to ensure the survey is as accessible as possible, including for people who use screen readers and other assistive technology, and minimal establishment fees such as website hosting, software subscriptions etc.
The more substantial costs will be to provide an honorarium to anyone who shares their time, expertise and story for a long-form interview as part of the report preparation and funding a part-time organiser to grow the campaign in the coming months and beyond. We’ll keep the momentum by having someone take responsibility for doing sustained outreach to promote the survey, supporting people who are in work for the dole, working to convert WFTD sites to volunteer sites, stakeholder engagement to build a coalition of campaign supporters, contacting people who complete the survey and building the campaign over the longer term as we work towards a boycott of work for the dole sites. And much more! It is so important to us that we don't reproduce the harms we are fighting against, and your contribution means we're able to uphold our principles of fairly valuing the labour of people who contribute to this work.
We'll be regularly publishing what the funds have been spent on on the #AWFTD website when it’s ready. Any funds raised above the campaign target will contribute to Antipoverty Centre operational costs and our smaller campaigns. You can also support our work directly by visiting our website.
FUTURE OF THE CAMPAIGN
The campaign is designed to help those in WFTD know their rights and organise and advocate for one another as we build support to end the program entirely. A detailed list of sites will be developed and maintained with up to date information for people to contact and boycott host sites to end forced and coercive labour.
We will organise and advocate to share with the broader community how forced labour programs undermine wages and workers’ rights. WFTD is a program that uses poverty and unemployment to perpetuate the charity industrial complex, an industry that exploits the same people it claims to help.
We will lobby politicians, not-for-profits, and local, state and federal governments to target the programs that exploit unemployed workers instead of paying them a fair wage, while raising community awareness of the program.
People need real jobs that offer a decent wage and safe conditions. Forcing welfare recipients to work for $44/day is reprehensible and has no place in a decent society.
WHO IS THE ANTIPOVERTY CENTRE?
The Antipoverty Centre was established in 2021 to help develop and lead policy advocacy and grassroots campaigns, targeting the industries that benefit and profit off poverty. Antipoverty Centre campaigners are experts in the systems we fight against because we experience them ourselves. We're a not-for-profit and we are not a registered charity.
For more information on the Antipoverty Centre as we progress and grow, check out our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for our updates released on our substack.
The artwork in the heading is "Unemployment: individual character flaw or mere feature of capitalism?" by First Dog on the Moon, you can find it here.
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