Monday, 12 March 2012


Employment agencies. Who do they benefit? Certainly not the individual looking for steady secure employment. They are solely in place for employers to exploit the most vulnerable in society; those without work, who are desperate to improve their living conditions and support themselves. It's all take, take, take from employers, who use employment agencies to supply fodder for the labour "tap" they can turn on and off at will. Total disregard for the well being of casual staff they employ has led to agencies using staff as labour employed for sometimes only a couple of  hours work, as and when required (a modern day favourite term).
Go back 25 years plus, industrial and warehouse employment agencies operated totally differently. A great deal more compassion and consideration toward staff was common. Contracts were normally a minimum of a week. A posting of an hour or two, or giving an individual an hour or twos notice of work, would be considered abhorrent.
Visit any town centre today, and there are at least half a dozen of these agencies, often operating from single room offices. They recruit those prepared to do any work, under any conditions, for the minimum legal wage. The result of this competition, is that the agencies have undercut each other again and again, and wages have been driven down and down.  The supply of ample cannon fodder in the form of  people trying to escape the poverty of the former eastern bloc countries, who are now EU members, has aided the employers and agencies. This has led to practically all unskilled work to be minimum wage, regardless of shift pattern or the day of the week worked. Typical night shift agency work in 2004 was £8.50 per hour, now 8 years later it's £6.08.
You've seen for yourself,  on the TV, in the press, or heard on the radio, an employer stating that these EU workers have a great work ethic, and are grateful for the opportunity, blah, blah. Well, these people have come from countries where wages are £1 or £2 per hour, so they are happy to work for £6. The great work ethic they talk about, is that they will find it acceptable to be shouted at, insulted, or work with little to no breaks.
It is Capitalism at its worst, and exploitation of the most needy.  I can hear the cries now, "pay them a bowl of soup per day." Is this what's coming next? Workhouse conditions?
Where is the humanity? Where's the compassion for your fellow man?
These agencies should be banned. Or, at the very least, be forced to only offer minimum contracts of 5 days (one weeks) work.
 Politicians will talk of the need for Britain to remain competitive in the modern world, to encourage investment, etc, etc.
Well, I don't want to live in a society where we are stepping backwards in terms of social welfare and working conditions. The only people to have benefited have been the mega greedy mega rich.
One of the main tools of these greedy folk has been employment agencies. If these places never existed it would be a far happier society than it is today. THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BAN THEM!! Unfortunately, businesses, employment agencies and the government all sing from the same song sheet.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

AMAZON.CO.UK - MODERN DAY WORKHOUSE - BOYCOTT THEM already has a reputation for being slave drivers, but it has to be experienced to be believed. The treatment of agency workers is appalling. They are kept on tenterhooks, never knowing whether the day they are working will be the last they work. Some have been in this state of uncertainty for over 5 years. The breaks: 15 minutes for tea, and 20 minutes for lunch. Ok? It would be if it wasn't for the fact that you have to be back at your working location and logged in by the time the break has finished. The eating area is a fast walking 3-4 minutes walk away from some locations, so breaks are effectively, by the time logging in to equipment is considered are; 5 minutes and 10 minutes, which over an 8 hour shift is illegal.
The agency workers are spoken to with no respect, often insulted and humiliated in front of others, any protests mean you are out the door. If the ridiculous targets are not met a humiliating dressing down follows. Targets for order picking are illogical; same speed, same items, from one location may be considered satisfactory, whilst from another location the same items picked at the same speed  could result in a warning for slow work rate!! The easier pick locations are always reserved for full time staff.
Order pickers walk 10 to 15 miles per day according  to Amazon USA figures, but 15 to 20 miles is more likely. Non stop speed walking is expected, any agency worker caught dawdling will be out.
Orders should be picked within seconds even if it means a 100 metre walk.
Other roles are equally demanding. Quality workers are expected to scan and count 500 work bins per hour, illogical to any reasonable person, but not to Amazon. One of these bins may contain up to 100 items which must be counted and logged within 7 seconds - do you know anybody who can count to 100 in 7 seconds?
The environment is one of total misery, which relies on employing desperate submissive workers mostly from eastern Europe. In the event of the unlikely return of full employment, Amazon would lose nearly all its staff, apart maybe from sadistic enforcers who thrive on human misery.
If you have any compassion for humanity PLEASE DO NOT BUY FROM AMAZON. In years to come people will look back in shame that they supported an organisation such as Amazon.

Monday, 1 November 2010

In Britain today who really cares about anybody else.
5% of the population probably have a social conscience, the rest don't care if your dying in the gutter.
A huge proportion of the population, if they can find work, are paid less than they need to live on.
My son is paid £6 an hour, takes home £210 per week - his rent is £600 per month and council tax £130.
It costs him £25 per week to get to work. He is left £100 per month for gas, electric, water rates and food. Yet this is considered adequate, as he does not qualify for housing benefit, or council tax benefit. The calculation on income is perversely made using gross income which provides an inaccurate picture of money left after housing costs.
My son now faces eviction because he cannot meet the rent!!
The thing is he was ok when unemployed. As soon as he got a job he now faces the streets.
The local council have told him when he is evicted he can go to a night shelter if there is a place, but he was told there are no spaces so he will have to sleep rough.
What a country - what is the difference between now and 1910?
The governments who have no compassion for homeless adults have done nothing to remedy the housing crisis. They talk about affordable housing, affordable to who. Affordable apparently is approx £150K for a two bed flat - how can you afford that on £6 per hour?
Duncan-Smith talks about people getting a job and getting off benefits, but the reality of it is the whole structure does not allow adults without children to come off benefits.
I have recently become unemployed for the first time in 25 years. I have not claimed any benefit as yet as I am looking for work, but I have discovered all the jobs are £6 max for unskilled work, and nobody wants to employ an over 45 year old for manual work.
When my redundancy runs out I will face the streets as well as I will not be able to meet my rent, and as my son has found out, the welfare state does not exist any more when it comes to childless adults.
Before some highflying moron, similar to the clowns on The Apprentice, says that people should stand on their own two feet, let me say this. The modern era of £6 per hour for all is a consequence of capitalist Britain. The EU policy of free movement allows a plentiful labour pool that keeps employers costs to a minimum. This benefits the employer only, not the employee, as he/she has to live on the crumbs whist the top dog is on millions. The poor are trapped and things are getting worse.
There needs to be a massive homes building program put in place, pre-fabs if necessary, similar to what happened post 1945.
This has not happened because this will drive down house prices, the banks don't want this, because the value of the property loans are secured will result in their balance sheets looking unhealthy.
The governments know that a huge drive for real affordable housing - £60 per week rents - will anger the middle classes, as their homes, now worth £250K may half in value, and as we know, as it was in 1910, the government is only interested in the middle and upper classes.
As for the poor "let them eat cake" #

# a quote for those who don't know from a famous upper class twit!