The County You Live, Work And Play
One Man Protest Against Slave Labour
An unemployed electronics worker has been staging a one-man daily protest against a Government ‘slave labour’ programme.
John McArthur has gone without state benefits since August after refusing to work for nothing and now can’t afford to heat his Motherwell home.
But he’s determined to keep highlighting what he says is ‘a deeply unethical and immoral system’.
Mr McArthur, of Dalziel Tower, has been standing outside LAMH Recyling in Range Road with placards and leaflets for two hours every morning for nearly three months.
He said his jobseeker’s allowance was stopped after he refused to take up an upaid six-month ‘community work placement’ at LAMH. Previously he worked there and was paid the minimum wage.
Mr McArthur is angry that the registered charity, which employs people to repair computers and recycle paper and cans, has signed up for the Government scheme.
He said; “It’s essentially slave labour which bypasses the minimum wage regulations.
“My trade is electronics, but I’ve been applying for every kind of job. I make around 50 applications a week, but I refuse to work for nothing.”
It’s not the first time he’s had his benefits stopped - he went without for 18 months after pulling out of another Government programme.
Although he has a works pension, he is struggling to survive without jobseeker’s allowance. He said: “I can’t put the heating on and I’m living on 16p tins of spaghetti.”