Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/311/11681
Stop The Card Sharks In Sheffield!
LOXLEY'S IS a greetings card manufacturing company in Sheffield. They produce around 200 million cards a year for some of the biggest publishers like Medici, Carte Blanche and Paper Rose.
It recently boasted in the local paper about its record sales of over £6 million in the last year.
Two workers told Alistair Tice what the article didn't say: "There's about 30 of us packers. They forced us to have our photo taken with all the staff for the local paper.
"But we're treated the lowest of the low.
"We're paid the minimum £4.20 an hour. We're on piece-work - to earn any more we have to do 170 packs an hour but most of us can only do around 120.
"I work 30 hours to take home £110 a week. Out of that I pay £60 child care (£120 in school holidays).
"Rumour is when the minimum wage goes up in the autumn, they'll just put the targets up even higher!
"We get chairs to sit on if we're doing badges but we've got to stand when we're on Christmas cards, which means we've all got bad backs from being constantly bent over.
"We've asked for face masks for doing glitter cards, the glitter gets up your nose and mouth. But we're still waiting.
"And there's no lighting over half the work benches. The perspex roof has been painted over, so if it's dull or cloudy you can't see to work.
"Again they told us we'll have to wait!
"We've had enough.
"We're going to join a union."
The Socialist Party has offered to help the packers get unionised and to 'out' the company by exposing their low pay rates and bad working conditions.
In The Socialist 9 August 2003: