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From: The Socialist issue 821, 6 August 2014: Unite to fight pay robbery

Search site for keywords: Minimum wage - War - Arms - HSBC - Israel - Tommy Sheridan - Gaza

Them & Us


One statistic indicating economic recovery which Chancellor George Osborne isn't crowing about is the booming sales of super-yachts. There were 221 sales of super-yachts in the first half of 2014, up almost a third compared to 2013.

According to the FT, for a mere $150 million readers can purchase a super-yacht boasting "several gymnasiums and swimming pools, as well as a so-called hydraulic swim platform, where children can pretend they are at the beach". Ideal for stopping the kids getting bored in the summer hols!

Good for business

War. What is it good for? Big profits if you happen to be an arms supplier. UK worldwide arms sales are worth 12 billion a year.

The Con-Dem government has issued arms export licences to British companies to supply the Israel Defence Force and Russia despite a war of terror being waged on Gaza and the civil war raging in east Ukraine.

Cheap labour

A YouGov survey has revealed that 26% of 682 'senior decision makers' of profitable businesses polled admit to paying their graduate interns nothing or less than the minimum wage. 82% of these businesses say their interns perform 'valuable tasks'. It is illegal not to pay at least the minimum wage to people doing 'valuable tasks' but bosses can get round this by limiting any unpaid work to four weeks. Most intern positions last three months or longer, therefore many bosses are breaking employment law.

Banking hypocrites

Global banking giant HSBC has been accused of Islamophobia after it unilaterally closed the bank accounts of a number of UK Muslim charities and individuals. Some account holders say they were told by the bank that they fell outside its "risk appetite".

HSBC appears to have overlooked this criterion prior to making a $1.2 billion settlement with US authorities in 2012 who accused the bank of illegal money laundering activities with drug cartels and rogue states!

Justice for Tommy

Scottish socialist Tommy Sheridan's conviction for perjury in his News of the World libel trial is to be reviewed by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

If successful, Tommy can appeal to the High Court to have the conviction overturned and his name cleared.

The review comes after former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who appeared as a prosecution witness in Tommy's 2010 trial, was recently convicted of phone hacking and now faces perjury charges.

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