Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Citizens Advice - Workers being exploited

Tens of thousands of vulnerable workers are being exploited by rogue employers, Citizens Advice has warned.

Last year Citizens Advice Bureaux across the UK dealt with more than half a million employment related queries. It estimates 60% of these involved the denial of statutory workplace rights such as the minimum wage, paid holiday and sick leave and pay. Some workers were also required to work excessively long hours or were denied proper rest breaks, the report said. Others were summarily dismissed for being pregnant. Other high risk groups include migrant workers and those who because of age, disability of lack of skills, would struggle to find another job .

"There are still far too many rogues out there, flouting the law, ignoring rules without sanction and profiting from vulnerable workers " -David Harker, Citizens Advice

As always , with people acting with good intentions , this report simply puts it all down to the some "bad apple" bosses who are using unfair practices to gain an advantage over the "responsible" employer and the problem can be removed by government reform of the law and the creation of government watch-dogs . That isn't the real problem or the real solution .

First , workers , especially the disadvantaged worker , must organise industrially through trade unionism to combat the immediate effects of exploitation , the stronger defending the weaker . An injury to one , is an injury to all .

But , then , it is necessary to move beyond mere defence and to-wards a position where the root cause of exploitation is recognised - the real problem - and that would be the capitalist system . And the political solution is not going cap-in-hand to the apologist parties of capital for amelioration but to once again organise but this time to abolish for once and for all this parasitic society where a minority live off the labours of the majority .

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