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.