Today Brighton Benefits Campaign with a number of supporters picketed the Superdrug store inside Churchill Square shopping mall!
The action was more of a flash-picket as security quickly appeared, trying to force us to leave, insisting the mall is ‘private property’ & threatening to arrest us for ‘criminal damage’ (difficult as we never even went inside the store!)
For all their bluster, we were able to unroll a large banner, hand out leaflets & give a performance via megaphone of ‘How Superdrug Stole Christmas’ complete with green-painted SuperGrinch (script below – please feel free to use & adapt) Shoppers showed interest & some told us they supported our actions.
Thanks to those who took part. We will keep pushing until Superdrug withdraw from workfare!
HOW SUPERDRUG STOLE CHRISTMAS!
by Brighton Benefits Campaign
Many people down in Brighton
Liked Christmas a lot
But those who ran a company called Superdrug
… did NOT!
They hated Christmas! And the reason’s quite clear
It’s plain what the Superdrug bosses fear
However much they might scheme and conspire
Each Christmas more workers have to be hired!
In the months before as Christmas approaches
A Superdrug boss growled hateful reproaches
Every year the story’s the same!
‘We need more people!’ – or so it’s claimed!
I’d rather make our workers work more
But I’m worried they might all walk out of the store.
It’s the season for giving? Why not a present for me?
Work extra over Christmas – for free!
For some reason the workers weren’t willing
Do you mean to take me for every last shilling!?
What’s the point of Christmas if I can’t make a killing?
Get extra workers?
… he looked on that quite dimly
Our profits will slide like Saint Nick down a chimney!
You give someone a job for just a few weeks
And STILL they expect to be paid – the cheek!
We pay through the nose every year
And now Christmas is coming – it’s practically here!
The more the boss thought of the cost it would bring,
he thought …
NO! I must put a stop to this whole thing!
I’ve put up with it far too long up to now
I must stop Christmas workers from coming … but HOW?
Then he got an idea
An awful idea!
SUPERDRUG GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
Then he laughed from the bottom of his grinchy soul
You don’t have to pay people on the dole!
The Government have granted our dream
We’ll use unpaid workers from a workfare scheme!
Can I get away with it? Sure, it’s easy!
And then, with a smirk that was vicious and sleazy
He called his friend who owned a newspaper
And said …
Rupert? Help me out with this caper
We have to divide those with and without jobs
So paint the unemployed as scrounging yobs
Call them lazy and feckless, shirkers perhaps
Act like it’s their fault the banks all collapsed!
And while the workers slept, dreaming dreams without care
The newspapers blew a great gust of hot air
And while everyone was confused and distracted
Superdrug’s Christmas jobs were withdrawn and redacted!
This is excellent! All those temps are replaced!
Their wages have all been got rid of – erased!
But this is only the start!
… the Grinchy Claus hissed
As he went back home, money bags in his fist
And he plotted how best to continue this crime
Now we’ve got workfare we can slash overtime!
We don’t need you paid workers to stay any longer
Need money for presents? Go speak to Wonga!
We’ll get the dole workers to do it for free!
And the boss gave a laugh with malevolent glee
His face lit up with a hideous sneer
Why only Christmas? Let’s do this all year!
The boss jumped for joy! He leapt and he bounced!
He was sure that the workers were beaten and trounced!
Soon enough, at every last Superdrug store
Those who worked would get less
… SO I CAN HAVE MORE!
The next day he came in his eyes all alight
As he thought of the wages he’d managed to swipe!
But as he drew near … his expression crumbled
And he knew in a panic he’d been caught and rumbled!
What his eyes had beheld left him dazed and confounded
Good Lord! The whole shop’s surrounded!
They came with megaphones, leaflets and banners
In the midst of his schemes they’d thrown a spanner!
‘Don’t go to a shop using workfare’ they’d say
And those who came to shop … instead turned away!
Of all the sights that a boss could detest …
Get away from my shop with your wretched protest!
Blast and bebother your damnable pickets!
Curse all your children with measles and rickets!
However much Superdrug might whine and howl
We’ll keep coming back till they throw in the towel
Workfare is an attack on us all
So come down and join us and answer our call
WORKFARE IS A JOB DESTRUCTION SCHEME!
DON’T SHOP AT SUPERDRUG!