Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/171/7902
Turn the Heat on the Bosses
Have you had a holiday this year? Did you get a relaxing Bank Holiday break as well? Probably not according to recent surveys, which show how few holidays workers in Britain have compared to the rest of Europe.
Over a third of Britain's workforce had to work the recent bank holiday. Many for no extra pay and some faced having their pay docked if they did not turn up for work.
More than seven million now work at least one bank holiday a year and about 60% of service staff in sales, hotels and catering do not receive overtime pay.
Workers in Britain get fewer holidays per hours worked than in any other European country. The average household with two adults now works an average seven hours a week more than in the late 1980s.
Under European law, workers are supposed to be guaranteed four weeks' holiday a year. But many workers are pressurised by bosses into taking only two or three weeks. One-quarter of Britain's workers do not take their full holiday entitlement because of this pressure.
But it's a different story for Britain's employers. Britain's bosses pamper themselves with their holidays. Very few bosses work the bank holidays and put their feet up while the profits roll in off the sweat of their underpaid and overworked workers.
For this 'hard work' they received an average 16% pay increase last year compared to 3.5% for the rest of us.
It's little wonder many workers are starting to fight back against these Dickensian-style bosses, whether they're in the public or private sector.
In Scotland, 80,000 local government workers took strike action this week. This follows successful strike action by Hackney council workers to stop privatisation. In Knowsley, Merseyside a threatened fightback by council workers stopped bosses' attempts to change their working week.
British Aerospace workers are threatening strike action and Floplast workers are fighting for union recognition after refusing to be treated like dirt by their bosses.
If you want a proper break from bosses' harassment join with the Socialist Party in our fight back against the greedy bosses and for a socialist society where the exploitation of working-class people is ended once and for all.
In The Socialist 1 September 2000: