Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/641/10373
From The Socialist newspaper, 6 October 2010
Paying below the minimum
WE HEARD a lot at the New Labour conference in Manchester about the party's 'proud record' for working people. One of the 'jewels in Labour's crown' was said to be the minimum wage, introduced in 1999.
It's recently gone up from £5.80 to £5.93 an hour - wow! What are we going to do with all that extra cash? However, there are thousands of employers who don't even pay this paltry minimum.
Last June, optician Benjiman Gains was fined for failing to pay the minimum rate to four of his workers at his two shops, BG Optical on Breck Road and County Road in Liverpool.
Gains, who paid his staff up to 40% less than they were entitled to, was ordered to pay a £3,696 fine.
He had provided workers with annual contracts based on salaries that appeared to be close to the minimum wage rates but he had altered the staff members' actual rates of pay by back-dating contracts to show different hours of work. He had also removed staff entitlement to paid meal breaks.
What are we to make of this?
Firstly, Mr Gains has lived up to his name and made a mint for a while. A fine of less than £4,000 is a very unfunny joke.
Secondly, it turns out that this is only the seventh prosecution of an employer for failing to pay the minimum rate - in eleven years! A record to be proud of indeed - if you are on the side of the bosses!
Paul Gerrard, Salford Socialist Party
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In The Socialist 6 October 2010:
Defend Child Benefits
Tories turn clock back
Students must fight back
Campaigning Socialist Students win support
YFJ and PCS unite against cuts in Leeds
Socialist Party editorial
National Shop Stewards Network and the struggle against Con-Dem attacks
National conference called against cuts in jobs and services
No excuses for not fighting cuts
Thousands tell Tories: 'No cuts'
Paying below the minimum
Bristol MPs fail to answer young workers' anger at PCS debate
Meetings and protests against the cuts
Labour councillor's contempt for care centre users
Save Buttercups nursery
Protests on October 23 to fight the government's spending review axe
News in brief
Socialist Party workplace news
Solid strike by Tube workers
Time to strengthen RMT's fighting leadership
Support TSG strike
Health and Safety
Warning: this government could seriously damage your safety
Europe: fighting the cuts
Spain: workers demonstrate their strength
Ireland: a socialist alternative to the crisis
Portuguese workers win the promise of a general strike
Internationalism against austerity: 100,000 demonstrate in Belgium
Why you should come to Socialism 2010
Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate
International socialist analysis
Chávez wins majority but right-wing gains ground
Socialist Party review
Made in Dagenham
Nuneaton: community must organise against racism
Leicester: action needed against EDL
Campaign defeats BNP in Stroud
The Socialist 6 October 2010 |
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