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Showing posts with the label low wages

Workers Pay Drop

The average earner in Scotland is more than £1,700 worse off compared with three years ago. Data on wages from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that, across the UK, pay rose by 2.1 per cent in the year ending April 2013, to an average of £27,000 a year. But with inflation rising by 2.4 per cent, the figures show wages are continuing to fall behind the cost of living. While the rise in wages is higher than many expected, it is the fifth year running inflation has outpaced wages.

Union leaders in Scotland said full-time earnings had now fallen by 6.2 per cent since 2010, when inflation was factored in. The biggest fall in earnings had been for those earning the least, ensuring that income inequality was increasing, they said. In cash terms, it means the average earner is £1,753 worse off than they would have been if pay had kept pace with inflation.

Scottish Trades Union Congress general-secretary Grahame Smith said: “The ongoing squeeze on real wages is without preced…

Poor Scots and rich ones

In 2011/12, there were 710,000 (14%) Scots in poor households of which 420,000 working age adults, 140,000 pensioners and 150,000 children were living in relative poverty, 80,000 children were living with combined material deprivation and low income.

Within the last two years, Scottish incomes have gone down from an average of £461 per week to £436.

Welfare measures including changes to eligibility for child tax credits and working tax credits which could, on average, mean that households will become around £700 per year worse off.

Child poverty levels are expected to soar in Scotland over the next few years by at least 50,000, taking the total number of children who live in families that struggle daily to provide to over 280,000.

Ian Marchant, CEO of  Scottish Power had received £1.45m in 2011.The company's annual report showed he earned a basic salary of £870,000, up by £30,000. He also received shares worth more than £1m from the firm's long-term bonus plan. His pension wa…

Struggling Scots

It is not independence most Scot are struggling for - it is to pay their bills.

One in six Scots households are raiding their savings to pay for day-to-day living expenses as they struggle to cope with higher utility, food and fuel bills in the face of another year of frozen wage packets. Almost half of people have admitted in a new poll to regularly delving into their savings last year, with one-third unable to put any money aside in 2012.

 40% of private-sector workers were given a freeze in their 2012 pay settlements. 250,000 council workers are due to see their wages go up by just 1% in April, ending a two-year freeze.

Citizens Advice Scotland  chief executive Margaret Lynch said: "This report shows the grim reality of what life is like for Scotland's families in today's economy...The economic equation is simple: basic living costs are going up all the time while household incomes are frozen, or falling. So people are struggling just to pay for the essentials …

Working less - earning less

Professor David Bell, an economic expert, warned MSPs that soaring numbers of Scots have been forced into “under-employment”  and a seismic shift away from full-time to part-time work and the disappearance of overtime have created a culture in which Scots’ lack of work is forcing them to cut back on household spending. Prof Bell’s report to the economy committee revealed the extend of “disguised unemployment” and the new phenomenon of “in-work poverty”.

About half a million Scots are now feared to be either out of work or under-employed. The number of part-time workers, including those who are self-employed, has risen by 74,000 since 2008, alongside a dramatic fall in the hours worked by full-time staff. The under-employment rate stands at over 10 per cent among Scots, with the academic finding there is not enough demand for the labour they are willing to supply. “The ‘Great Recession’ has had an adverse impact on the Scottish labour market,” said the report.

The jobless rise has be…

Wal-Mac

McDonald's sells more than 75 hamburgers every second. McDonald's' daily customer traffic 62 million, that's about 1 percent of the world's population. McDonald's' $27 billion in revenue makes it the 90th-largest economy in the world. The $8.7 billion in revenue from franchise stores alone, makes McDonald's richer than Mongolia. McDonald's hires around 1 million workers in the US every year ( a 700,000 domestic workforce with 150% turnover rate.) According to company estimates, one in every eight American workers has been employed by McDonald's. Americans alone consume one billion pounds of beef at McDonald's in a year – five and a half million head of cattle. McDonald's has 761,000 employees worldwide, that's more than the population of Luxembourg. From 2011 to 2013, McDonald's plans to open one restaurant every day in China. McDonald's is the world's largest distributor of toys, with one included in 20% of all sales. M…

Facts, statistics and lies

Data from the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) 2012 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings shows the median weekly earnings of Scots, at £497.60, were higher in any part of the UK outside London and the southeast, growing 2.6% year on year. This figure represents a real terms fall, in light of CPI inflation of 3% during that period. Women's waages were significantly under at a 0.6% increase, the slowest rise in the UK other than in northeast England, where women's wages actually fell by 0.5%.

David Bell
, professor of economics at Stirling University, warned that the rise may be a symptom of an increased loss of lower-paid jobs, pushing the median figure further up the scale. He said: "What might have happened is that a lot of the people who lost their jobs in Scotland are at the bottom end of the wage distribution, and if falling employment is concentrated in the bottom, that moves the median up. Our labour market performance hasn't been that great lately and t…

Exposing the ethics of the Co-op

On Thursday 22nd a dozen people, including members of benefit claimants' groups Black Triangle and the Crutch Collective, Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World, Glasgow Anarchist Federation, Glasgow Solidarity Federation as well as other individuals took part in the hour long picket of the Co-Op Bank and supermarket on the same street in central Glasgow.

They gave out leaflets to Co-Op customers and the hundreds of people going pass on their way home from work. The leaflet highlighted the Co-Op's four year occupational health contract with Atos. Atos continue to make huge profits by continuing to assess most sick and disabled benefit claimants as fit for work, ignoring contrary medical evidence, to comply with Government targets for benefit cuts. The cuts are being imposed to make the poor pay again for the latest crisis in capitalism caused by the rich. They asked people to contact the Co-Op to tell the company, that sells itself as ethical, tha…

Observation on poverty

Low pay and reduced job security are key outcomes of the recession. Sociologists have even coined a term for the growing number of people - many of them agency workers - who live this blighted existence. They call them the 'precariat'. The precariat are workers likely to be laid off, working part-time for low wages and turning up when they are asked. Being in the precariat means the fear of being pitched deeper into it and the likelihood your children will continue in it

Many are found in agency jobs in what was once the public sector - cleaning and caring.

A report from the Rowntree Foundation is yet another reminder that working hard does not necessarily keep a family out of poverty. Half of children living below the Government's official poverty line have at least one parent working. 69% of these children, who generally get free school meals, leave school without the five GCSEs which are generally necessary for a reasonably-paid job and are unlikely to get into higher ed…

A living wage or no wages?

According to research by Citizens Advice Scotland workers in Scotland are routinely being exploited by employers who are refusing to pay the minimum wage. The problem is particularly prevalent among young employees, while hotels, restaurants and cafes are the worst offenders.

Susan McPhee, head of policy at CAS, said: “The minimum wage has been law for more than 10 years, but a significant number of employers are refusing to pay it, and as a result workers are exploited on illegal wages. All political parties* accept the principle of a minimum wage, but it seems some employers believe the law is optional. Our experience shows many workers are unaware of their rights or lack confidence in how to fight for them.”

The National Minimum Wage was made UK law in April 1999 and is currently £6.08 an hour for those aged over 21. It lowers to £4.98 for those between the ages of 18 and 21. For 16 and 17-year-olds, the threshold is £3.68. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has the powers to issue a noti…

more pay cuts loom

About 3% of the UK's workforce have seen basic pay fall in the past year and those in the construction sector have been hardest hit, it said, with 10% in that industry seeing pay fall according to this report .Thousands of workers have negotiated lower pay packets hoping to avoid redundancy.
"We're predicting next year that we're going to see more organisations making more and more redundancies." said the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Keir Hardie on Migrant Labour

Socialist Courier has previously de-bunked the Keir Hardie myth of his anti-war credentials here and now it is time to dismiss him as a supporter of the international working class and expose his Scots racism .

James Keir Hardie in 1889 said said :-

"Dr. Johnson said God made Scotland for Scotchmen, and I would keep it so" .

Speaking of the Poles at Glengarnock, he said "their habits are very filthy, six or seven males occupying a one-roomed house, and having women to cook for them"

He suggested that the employment of foreigners by British employers should be prohibited, unless they were political exiles or had fled from religious persecution or if they came from countries where the wage rates were the same as in Britain.

Instead of directing his wrath at the capitalist class which exploits and takes advantage of the lack of working class unity , Hardie simply parrots the commonly held mis-conception that it is the poor unfortunate immigrant who is responsible for wage …