Tag Archives: workers

Care workers awarded £100,000 in back pay – but why is their NEW employer paying it?

How pleasant to see home carers being awarded the pay they are due!

In a court victory, home care workers contracted by Haringey Council in North London were awarded £100,000 in back pay.

That’s between them, not individually – amounting to around £10,000 for each of the 10 claimants.

It seems the council had given the work contract to a private provider called Sevacare that cheated them out of money they should have been paid for travel time between patient visits.

As a result, some of them ended up being paid less than £4 per hour – less than the minimum wage, and much less than even the “National Living Wage” that the Tories introduced, which still doesn’t cover living expenses.

Care service companies, Kaamil Education Limited, Diligent Care Services Limited and Premier Carewaiting Limited say they inherited the case when they took over the work contract.

The firms who took over the contracts were ordered to pay the claimants.

Wait – what?

Why were the new providers ordered to pay? Why couldn’t the offending firm do it?

Has it gone out of business? Government contractors seem to do that, don’t they? Does anybody remember Carillion?

Mrs Mike was completely unimpressed by this story.

She reckons the problem is the sub-contracting of care work by councils to private providers, who always say they can do the work for a very low price.

Then the bosses and shareholders take their cut (Mrs Mike said), and the people who do the actual work end up with whatever’s left – the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.

It’s a consequence of privatisation, she said. It was better when councils employed care workers directly.

Given this result, I’d say she makes a good point. Wouldn’t you?

Source: Unison: Care workers who made £4 an hour awarded in £100,000 court case – BBC News

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Patel’s Orwellian newspeak only highlights the Immigration Bill’s Tory racism

Smug: Priti Patel’s parents arrived in the UK when the country had a working immigration policy; under her new Bill, they would never have got in – because they’re foreign, don’t y’know?

“We’re ending free movement to open Britain up to the world”?

What utter, dribbling, gibbering stupidity!

Priti Patel means: “We’re closing the UK to anybody who isn’t rich.”

Skills don’t come into it.

That’s what the minimum income demand means.

An individual’s value to society won’t matter.

Just ask BAME workers at the NHS.

And it’s bare-faced hypocrisy from Patel, a daughter of immigrants:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1262459642514456578

Of course the Tories are already victimising migrant workers in the UK – they charge such workers £624 to use the NHS, even if they work for the NHS! Seriously!

 

Perhaps an effective way to present the message would be to show how Ms Patel’s message would come across if it was transferred to one of her other responsibilities:

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This appeal for people to work on farms because of the coronavirus has one major flaw

Farm fruit pickers: there might be a problem with social distancing!

Farming industry leaders are appealing for British people to work on farms, claiming a workforce shortage due to the coronavirus.

This Writer’s first thought was: oh, not because of Brexit, then?

Farms used to take on a lot of seasonal workers from EU countries before Brexit but that opportunity isn’t open to them now, partly because the UK has left the EU and partly because movement between countries has been stopped because of the pandemic.

So now farmers are calling for help, saying the work should appeal to students, jobseekers and anyone who has been laid off work due to the impact of coronavirus.

But how much are they willing to pay?

Certain unscrupulous farmers should not expect to pay native Brits the same pittances they foisted on foreign nationals just because they could.

But most of all – the glaring issue that seems to have gone straight over their heads – there’s this:

Coronavirus demands that we stay away from each other. How are they going to ensure that workers stay safe?

Source: Coronavirus: Urgent appeal for Brits to work on farms – Farmers Weekly

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Tory visa scheme will cripple social care – and the NHS will suffer knock-on harm

Charming. The Conservatives are openly announcing plans to harm services for people in need.

Tories are demanding a £30,000 salary threshold and tougher visa requirements for overseas workers once the UK has left the EU and free movement has come to an end. They also want migrants to be earning £35,800 after five years.

As care workers receive much less than £30k a year – due to Tory pay restrictions? – this means that the care sector will lose personnel.

Not only will the needs of vulnerable people go undetected, not only will people be forced to go without care, but the NHS will face knock-on effects as elderly patients are taken to A&E as a last resort, or end up stuck on wards unable to go home.

See for yourself:

Boris Johnson’s plans for fast-track “NHS visas” will do nothing to head off an impending post-Brexit staffing crisis which threatens to cripple social care in the UK, with catastrophic consequences for hospitals and other services, health chiefs have warned.

The Independent has obtained a document written by NHS Employers [that] sets out strong opposition to the Home Office’s planned points-based immigration system and new salary thresholds, pointing out many social care staff earn as little as half the proposed minimum of £30,000 per annum needed to obtain entry to the UK.

Under the scheme, the cost of a visa application for health professionals would be halved from £928 to £464 and a decision would be guaranteed within two weeks. Applicants coming to work in the NHS would receive preferential treatment with extra points under the points-based system, and no cap would be placed on numbers entering through the NHS route.

However, it makes no provision for people working in social care.

Source: NHS chiefs warn Johnson’s visa scheme will do nothing to stop post-Brexit staffing crisis | The Independent

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Financial Times gives Labour a huge boost with front page lead on life-changing policies

Plaudits to Skwawkbox for pointing out the fact that the Financial Times has shot itself in the foot with its lead story today (September 2).

The headline states that “Labour would cost companies £300bn” – implying that this is a scare story. But it continues “by shifting shares to staff”.

Brilliant news!

It’s saying that working people, who actually create the profits that the UK’s biggest firms make every day, will actually receive a dividend from those profits under a future Labour government.

That alone is a good reason to vote Labour at any future election.

No doubt the parasites will claim that the move will destabilise UK industry but this is clearly nonsense.

Working people have every right to profit – just as much as bosses and other shareholders – from the work they do.

The Financial Times (FT) has given the ‘above the fold’ half of its front page this morning to policies it presumably thinks will horrify its core readership – but which will be music to the ears of millions of voters hard-pressed under the Tories and their prioritisation, as Corbyn said in his Salford speech this morning, of ‘those who lend and speculate over those who actually make things‘.

The headline may blare about ‘costing UK companies £300bn’ – the FT’s estimate – but it goes on to say ‘by shifting shares to staff’. The article itself can’t help but elaborate a few of Labour’s groundbreaking policies and the way they would revolutionise the life of ‘the many’ in this country:

And it seems the FT digs itself further in by listing other great Labour policies:

The detail of the front-page coverage gives some key information on just a few of Labour’s game-changing policies:

  • Labour in government will give shares to workers in seven thousand of the UK’s biggest employers – entitling them to dividends of up to £500 per year as well as helping the national finances
  • Labour will introduce a right-to-buy for tenants of private landlords at affordable prices, helping to reduce the concentration of property in the hands of a few that has driven up rents and house prices under Conservative governments
  • Shifting power away from ‘bosses and landlords’ and to the people
  • Increasing productivity and long-term thinking by giving employees a meaningful stake

The timing is also hilariously inept for a newspaper trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

This week, Parliament is in crisis as Boris Johnson’s dictatorial excuse for a government tries to overrule Parliament’s sovereignty in order to push through a “no deal” Brexit that few people want.

MPs may push back, even to the point of demanding a general election.

And on the eve of such a move, the Financial Times has given us all an excellent reason to vote Labour into power.

Tony Blair may be urging Labour to vote against an election on the grounds that Jeremy Corbyn is unpopular – but he is preaching a perspective on the Labour leader that is largely created by the Tory media.

We saw similar claims evaporate during the 2017 election campaign and fearmongers and yesterday’s men like Mr Blair would be better-off keeping their mouths shut.

The message from this newspaper is clear – if not quite as intended: If a general election is possible, bring it on! Labour will walk it.

Source: FT inadvertently gives huge front-page ad to Labour as party of hope and change | The SKWAWKBOX

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Theresa May broke the Ministerial Code over Brexit. Can we have some outrage please?

Theresa May in Grimsby: She might as well have said, “There isn’t even this much truth in what I’m saying about your rights.”

Cabinet ministers – and the prime minister above all – have an obligation to be truthful. It’s one of the seven principles of public life enshrined in the Ministerial Code – and one that Theresa May broke flagrantly in her speech on Brexit in Grimsby the other day.

She was trying to claim that her deal means the rights of employees will be protected – more than they would be if the UK remains in the European Union. This is not true.

She said: “We have … committed to protecting the rights and standards currently set at the EU level – from workers’ rights to environmental protections.

“And this week we have said that if the EU expands workers’ rights, we will debate those measures in Parliament and decide if we want to follow suit.

“But we will not tie ourselves in automatically to follow EU changes without Parliament having its say.

“That would mean weakening workers’ rights if the EU ever chose to do so. And it would not be taking back control. The UK has led the way in the EU, and we will lead the way outside it.

“Leaving with the deal means workers’ rights will be protected.”

“That would mean weakening workers’ rights if the EU ever chose to do so.” Oh, really?

Economist Jonathan Portes spotted the falsehood:

So did Steve Peers of the University of Essex:

She lied to us all.

She tried to tell us the EU could weaken workers’ rights in the UK when in fact it is her government that is more likely to do that.

There will be nothing to stop her from weakening employees’ rights, once the UK leaves the EU.

I wonder if any enterprising member of Parliament may be motivated to set the record straight – and to request an investigation into the prime minister’s breach of the code that all government ministers must observe, or resign.


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Robert Halfon suggests new name for the Conservative Party. We’ve seen this tactic before somewhere…

Robert Halfon: Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat its mistakes,.

People say it is inappropriate to compare the Tories with the Nazi Party of 1920s-40s Germany – but the Tories themselves continue to invite comparisons:

The National Socialist German Workers Party, active in Germany between 1920 and 1945, was neither socialist nor a workers’ party – it merely used these labels in a cynical ploy to make it more attractive to working-class voters.

Now here’s Robert Halfon suggesting exactly the same idea.

Does he think we’re all stupid? And what does this say about the modern Conservative Party?


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As we head into conference season, here are the main stories of the new Parliament – so far


It seems possible that certain unscrupulous politicians might want to distract us from the issues that affect us the most, so This Site has put together a handy, quick-reference guide for you…

… in handy infographics that you can copy and paste anywhere you like!

(You’re welcome!)



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The re-u-turn of Theresa Maybe-not: Crackdown on boardroom abuses is watered-down instead

Liar, liar: Theresa May said she’d offer workers more representation on
company boards as a bribe to get voters to support her in the general election. Now she has ditched that promise – for a second time [Image: Daily Mirror.]

Theresa May has broken her promise to put workers’ representatives on company boards – for a second time.

Anybody who voted for her in the belief that she meant it – this time – must be kicking themselves.

And she won’t be legislating to give shareholders power to veto excessive pay rises for company executives.

This means fat-cat business executives can continue abusing their workers by taking huge pay rises while leaving employees to labour in relative poverty.

The decision to water down the government’s legislation on boardrooms has been attributed to pressure from Philip Hammond, but who can say whether this is true or not? Hammond was in danger of losing his job as Chancellor in the run-up to the general election and this could be an attempt to smear him again.

Either way, who cares? The members of the Conservative cabinet are all as bad as each other.

And they are all determined to allow corporate corruption to continue.

Labour has it right. A spokesman was quoted as saying: ““Yet more words and no action from May. Fat cats, rip off bosses, tax dodgers and billionaire bankers – the whole rigged system – support the Tories because the Tories support them.”

True. And that’s why the corruption will continue.

Theresa May has confirmed she will not implement tough measures to crackdown on excessive executive pay.

The Prime Minister said that bosses who milked their companies had become the “unacceptable face of capitalism” as she announced a package of measures designed to show her party is prepared to tackle boardroom irresponsibility.

But they will fall short of previously floated plans to give workers representation in the boardroom and shareholders more significant votes on bosses’ pay.

said the Government reforms would include measures to ensure workers’ voices were “properly heard in the boardroom”, but made clear listed companies would choose for themselves whether to do this by having an employee advisory panel, a dedicated board member or an employee representative on their board.

A new public register will also be established by the end of this year, listing companies which have faced shareholder revolts over salaries and bonuses, she said.

The register will enable potential investors to identify firms where existing shareholders do not feel that bosses’ rewards are justified.

Read more: Theresa May opts for weaker package of measures on excessive boardroom pay


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Theresa Mayfly’s contradictory Brexit speech opens the door to more confusion

Tired and small: Theresa May’s appearance emulates the way the UK will appear to the rest of the world after Brexit.

It is astonishing to see political commentators attempting to take Theresa May’s Brexit speech seriously. They should attack it for the rubbish it is.

She said the UK has to leave the European Single Market – but will seek “the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement”. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the single market at the same time. We knew that already.

Likewise, with the European Customs Union, she said the UK must leave in order to negotiate its own trade deals – but she also wants tariff-free trade with Europe, which isn’t possible outside the customs union. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the customs union at the same time. We knew that already.

She said that both Houses of Parliament would be able to vote on any final Brexit deal – but did not explain what kind of vote this would be. Will it be a “take it or leave it” offer – accept what the Tories have negotiated or it’s over to WTO rules for everything? If so, what is the point in asking the Lords – the “revising” house – to consider it, as no revision will be requested or possible? It seems she wants to provide the illusion that our democratic institutions are involved, while actually trying to blackmail them into supporting her. We knew that already, also.

One aspect we can all agree we knew already was Mrs Mayfly’s determination to control immigration – despite the fact that, as Home Secretary, she had access to EU-approved controls on immigration for six years and never used them. So her words, that while wanting to continue to attract “the brightest and best to study and work in Britain”, “we will get control over [the] number of people coming to Britain from the EU” ring hollow. Under the EU rules she never implemented, she had power to send EU immigrants back to their own country if they weren’t students, didn’t have a job, couldn’t produce health insurance or evidence that they were using their own funds to live here. So controlling immigration is a non-story. The only thing that ever stopped Mrs Mayfly from controlling EU immigration was Mrs Mayfly.

A more plausible reason for leaving the single market, then, is Mrs Mayfly’s determination to stop the European Court of Justice determining matters relating to the UK – but she couldn’t even be honest about this. The European Court has influence only on matters of EU law, and cannot overrule any country on its own national law. Restrictions imposed by the European Court include maintaining workers’ rights, for example, and the quality of goods. Mrs Mayfly wants to scrap UK workers’ rights – and that’s why she wants us to leave the single market. But she didn’t want you to know that, so it seems the Tories have instructed their compliant media to distract us with complaints about immigration instead.

Claims that Mrs Mayfly wants to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK appear to be false, according to information seen by This Writer. Mrs May has said she wants to be able to confirm those rights as soon as possible, indicating that these people are to be considered “negotiating capital” with the EU – but I have seen evidence that at least one EU citizen, attempting to assert those rights recently, was told this was not possible. This suggests that the Conservatives have already decided to curtail those rights. Her claim to protect those rights seems false, therefore, and her promise to develop them in pace with the changing labour market suggests she will remove them as it becomes expedient to her corporate masters.

There were good aspects to her speech – but they were common-sense things. Of course the UK and EU should continue sharing intelligence and policing information. That’s about protecting us all from crime and ensuring our national security.

But what about the difficulties facing Northern Ireland, where the peace process is about much more than simply maintaining an open land border with the Republic of Ireland?

It is all nonsense and waffle. Theresa Mayfly might just as well have stood up and spent her time saying “Blah blah blah Brexit,” over and over again. As far as her tenure in Number 10 is concerned, she should probably start contacting removal companies now.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

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