Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/876/21635
From The Socialist newspaper, 29 October 2015
Them & Us
Minimum wage storm
High street retail group Monsoon Accessorize was caught paying more than a quarter of its UK store staff below the minimum wage.
HM Revenue and Customs has named and shamed the firm as part of a list of 115 law breakers. In Monsoon's case, employees were required to wear the store's own clothes for work - which they had to buy. This brought net wages below the legal minimum.
The fashion company has been made to pay a total of £104,508 to 1,438 workers. But its fine for illegal poverty pay is a mere £28,148. The firm made over £18 million profit before tax in the financial year to 2013.
Monsoon is a founding member of the 'Ethical Trading Initiative' - strapline: "respect for workers worldwide".
Flight fit for a king
David Cameron spent over £100,000 flying to the funeral of human rights abuser King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.
Return tickets from London to Riyadh in economy class cost from £464 a head. And last year, Cameron plus five flew to the G20 meetings in Australia - the opposite side of the planet - for just £13,290.
£101,792 to pay respect to a super-rich, unelected leader of a state which tortures and kills dissidents. That one trip would have paid four staff nurses' salaries for a year. NHS wards are currently dangerously understaffed.
But then staff nurses don't make Cameron's mates much money. British investments in Saudi Arabia total £9.8 billion. And who cares about human rights when the crude oil supply is at stake?
- 1 - Cameron's one £100k trip to the funeral of a serial human rights abuser in Saudi Arabia could have paid for...
- 4 - full-time nurses for a year for our understaffed NHS, or...
- 85 - FE students from low-paid households to receive a year's Education Maintenance Allowance - £30 a week for books and supplies
Donate to the Socialist Party
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 29 October 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Unite to fight divided Tories
'Momentum' must mobilise for real and lasting change
Hinkley deal - no point in nuclear
Sugar tax debate misses real causes of poor diet
First new grammar school in 50 years bolsters elitism
Them & Us
What we saw
International socialist news and analysis
Israeli government fans the flames of conflict
CWI news in brief
Socialist Party youth and students
What are the lessons of the 2010 student movement?
South African student solidarity demo
Students march in Leeds for free education
Workplace news and analysis
Steel industry and the battle for jobs
For a fighting and democratic Unison general secretary, vote Roger Bannister
Morrisons workers deserve fair pay and conditions
Hull council in aggressive attack on union convenors
Kill the Bill!
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Film review: Suffragette
Teachers and 'growth mindset'
Townsend Productions presents two critically acclaimed pieces of socialist theatre
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Fund the fight for socialism at home and internationally
TUSC councillor calls for local Labour to back Corbyn's anti-cuts stance
Housing crisis on the agenda for Socialist Party in Reading
The Socialist 29 October 2015 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook