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Business… just business… as usual. April 22, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Sarah Butler in the Observer notes something particularly noxious about the response in the UK of some in business to the ‘living wage’. She writes:

From fish factories in Grimsby to coffee shops in central London and even Waitrose supermarkets, workers across the country are seeing perks and pay rates cut as companies try to offset the cost of George Osborne’s national living wage.


In the past few weeks the Observer has learned of companies withdrawing overtime and Sunday pay, bonuses, free food and paid breaks in order to keep the wage bill down.

Siobhain McDonagh MP, who called the backbenchers’ debate, said: “When the chancellor announced the national living wage, he said: ‘Britain deserves a pay rise and it’s getting one.’ I took him at his word on that. People should get a pay rise, not a pay cut.”

Where are the unions. Well as we know, in many instances they aren’t there at all because of non-union workplaces. In others they’re fighting a rear-guard action:

Gareth Jones, deputy regional secretary of the Unite union in Wales, is backing workers at Toyoda Gosei, a car parts manufacturer with plants in Swansea and Rotherham, which has put an end to paid breaks.

He said: “Employers are not entering into the spirit of the national living wage. Unite regional officer Dave Monaghan agreed: “We believe these cuts breach the whole point of the national living wage – to give low-paid workers a step-up.”

I guess that’s just another example of the adaptability of capitalism. Grim.


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