Why pay minimum wage when prison workers are practically free?

160820 prison labour uk

Another scandal of Tory Britain, highlighted by Another Angry Voice.

This, from Twitter, may also help:

160820 prison wages

In August 2016 the US department of Justice announced that they are going to set about phasing out their use of private prisons, which triggered a spate of moral high-horsing from British people who tried to claim that our private prison riddled system is still superior to the US system because at least here in the UK we don’t use prisoners as a cheap source of labour.

The map in the article header proves how wrongheaded this attitude is. Just because they haven’t heard of Britain’s prison labour management company One3One, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, or that it isn’t farming out prison labour to ever increasing numbers of private companies that are queuing up to take advantage of prison labour for as little as 30p an hour.

Prisoners in England and Wales are being used as a cheap source of labour in all kinds of industries including printing, textiles, engineering, woodwork, laundry and even assembling plastic poppies for the Royal British Legion.

The idea of training prisoners up with skills so that they are less likely to reoffend when they get out of jail is a very good idea in principle, but the problem with farming prison labour out to the private sector is absolutely obvious. If scores of companies all over the UK are taking advantage of prison labour for as little as 30p an hour, then this availability of extremely cheap labour has an obvious downwards effect on wages and employment rates in whichever business sectors they become involved in.

Source: The UK prison labour industry


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5 thoughts on “Why pay minimum wage when prison workers are practically free?

  1. katythenightowl

    Surely this is a deliberate thing as, the more prison labour there is, the poorer the wages are for the normal employee?

    The Tories have been pushing this ideal for a very long time, as they are the ones who benefit the most from cheap, or free, labour – it also has the side-effect of keeping the plebs running in circles to find non-existant work, which would also be paid at a pittance.

    I wonder if the Workhouse building plans have been dusted off yet? :/

    1. NMac

      I don’t think the Tory plans for Workhouses need to be dusted off. They are almost certainly ready and waiting in the wings. I suspect their thoroughly nasty ideas for 21st century Workhouses will make the 19th century equivalent look almost like holiday camps.

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