Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/303/13774
Bosses To Blame For Sackings
"UNFORTUNATELY SALARIES not paid. Please do not contact office. Full details to follow later today." This outrageous text message told workers at The Accident Group (TAG) they were being made redundant.
As a TAG worker commented: "It's a hell of a way to find out you're out of a job." Angry staff, fearing they would never get paid, ransacked TAG's office in Birmingham in protest. They reportedly walked out with £80,000 worth of computers and equipment.
TAG were the definitive ambulance-chasing insurance firm; asking people whether they've had any accidents and descending like vultures on anyone with a limp or a walking stick.
New Labour gave this mainly non-union employer a boost when it stopped giving legal aid for personal injury claims, replacing it with laws that let solicitors operate on a "no win, no fee" basis. Now like another such firm Claims Direct, TAG didn't win enough cases and couldn't reach an agreement with the banks.
TAG's slogan was: "Where there's blame there's a claim". Mark Langford, founder and chairman of the company, is believed to be 'worth' £40 million and living a wealthy lifestyle, organising spectacular charity balls. At the very least this 'charitable' businessman ought to ensure that unpaid back wages are paid.
The trade unions should clearly blame this 'no job, no wages' boss for his atrocious behaviour. They should use this example to campaign to build up new membership amongst such unorganised workers and to show other workers the stupidity of the capitalist system.
In The Socialist 7 June 2003: