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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 January 2009

Fast News

Lovingly sacked...

THE FINEST writing paper, using only the finest ink, lovingly folded into an immaculate white envelope... This is no ordinary P45, this is a Marks and Spencer P45!

...with less money

LAST AUGUST, Marks and Spencer (M&S) sacked one its workers who had blown the whistle on the high street retailer's plans to slash the redundancy terms of its 60,000 staff by up to 25%.

The GMB union correctly foresaw this attack as a prelude to large job cuts, which happened last week when the company announced 1,200 job losses.

Under M&S's plans a 49 year old employee with 30 years service would see their severance pay cut from 35,000 to 26,000.

Those aged between 22 and 40 would only get two weeks' pay for each year worked instead of two-and-a-half. Those over 41, instead of receiving three-and-three-quarter weeks would only receive two-and-a-half.

Yet Steven Esom, M&S former director of foods, was paid a whacking 500,000 payoff last July.

Synergy-related headcount restructure

NOKIA SIEMENS must win the 2008 Management Speak Bullshit Award for inventing a farcical new term for redundancy. To quote its website: "Nokia Siemens Networks enters final stage of synergy-related headcount restructuring" and goes on to boast that it is on course "to expect a total synergy-related adjustment of approximately 9,000 employees." In other words Nokia Siemens are sacking 9,000 of their staff.

I suppose these unfortunate workers won't receive the usual P45 from Nokia Siemens either but instead will get a 'DWP Entry Voucher'!

Rob Bishop

Interesting times

DESPITE THE Bank of England reducing its base lending rate to just 1.5% - the lowest rate since the bank was established in 1694 - it seems that the news hasn't got through to credit card providers. Despite interest rates falling from 5.25% in January 2008 to 2% in December 2008, credit card issuers increased the cost of borrowing in a bid to boost their profit margins.

American Express has increased the cost of borrowing on one of its credit cards to 46%. Other cards also have APRs above 35%.

Last December, credit card firms signed up to a set of "fair principles" on the charging of interest. However, the cost of card borrowing has risen over the three months up to December 2008. Cardholders are now facing average interest rates of 17.7% on credit cards, up from 16.6% 12 months ago.

Store card debtors are facing even higher rates. The average cost of borrowing is now 25% a year, up from 23.9% one year ago.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 14 January 2009:


War and occupation

Stop the Israeli state terror

100,000+ on Gaza protests


Socialist Party editorial

British economy heads deeper into crisis


Vote for Robbie Segal

Stop job cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future

Fight for free education

Building ISR and Socialist Students in 2009

Fight for your future: what ISR campaigns for


Socialist Party campaigns

The 2012 Olympics legacy

Heathrow expansion protest

Defend threatened Saudi Arabian trade unionist

Wirral: Marching to stop the cuts

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

The NHS today - can it meet everyone's health needs?


Socialist Party workplace news

Conference: 'The crisis in working class political representation'

GlaxoSmithKline: The fightback starts here

Tube cleaners protest against victimisation

Job cuts announced at Nissan


International socialist news and analysis

Jobs meltdown hits Ireland

Debate and meeting in Dublin

Sri Lanka -: Vicious attacks on media and killing of newspaper editor

Bangladesh: Protesters denounce global mining corporation


Socialist Party review

Che


Socialist Party feature

Why Manchester rejected the congestion charge


 

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