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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:04 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382800/Tagged-bosses-zero-hour-Amazon-workers-Employees-guaranteed-income.html


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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:49 pm

Very interesting article. The more you read about Amazon, the more sinister it seems. Essentially they're a prime example of the psychopathic nature of big corporations. This is nothing less than modern-day serfdom, and, sadly, it will only become more common-place as the influence of big business increases still further.

I believe that the only way to rein in the influence of the private sector is to forbid MPs from taking external employment (e.g. directorships) and to ban political donations from organisations.

For me, one of the worst things I've read in the news recently was that Buckingham Palace employs people on zero-hours contracts. Perhaps they could argue that they are doing it to minimise costs and therefore the strain on the public purse. Nonetheless, it has very unpleasant undertones. Also, given that the sole purpose of the monarchy is symbolic, it is a terrible example to set.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:30 pm

jbeadlesbigrighthand wrote:Very interesting article. The more you read about Amazon, the more sinister it seems. Essentially they're a prime example of the psychopathic nature of big corporations. This is nothing less than modern-day serfdom, and, sadly, it will only become more common-place as the influence of big business increases still further.

I believe that the only way to rein in the influence of the private sector is to forbid MPs from taking external employment (e.g. directorships) and to ban political donations from organisations.

For me, one of the worst things I've read in the news recently was that Buckingham Palace employs people on zero-hours contracts. Perhaps they could argue that they are doing it to minimise costs and therefore the strain on the public purse. Nonetheless, it has very unpleasant undertones. Also, given that the sole purpose of the monarchy is symbolic, it is a terrible example to set.


I thought the palace gave them advanced notice of when they were going to work?

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:14 am

ShahenshahG wrote:
jbeadlesbigrighthand wrote:Very interesting article. The more you read about Amazon, the more sinister it seems. Essentially they're a prime example of the psychopathic nature of big corporations. This is nothing less than modern-day serfdom, and, sadly, it will only become more common-place as the influence of big business increases still further.

I believe that the only way to rein in the influence of the private sector is to forbid MPs from taking external employment (e.g. directorships) and to ban political donations from organisations.

For me, one of the worst things I've read in the news recently was that Buckingham Palace employs people on zero-hours contracts. Perhaps they could argue that they are doing it to minimise costs and therefore the strain on the public purse. Nonetheless, it has very unpleasant undertones. Also, given that the sole purpose of the monarchy is symbolic, it is a terrible example to set.


I thought the palace gave them advanced notice of when they were going to work?

They're still asking people to tie themselves to a contract for 3-4 months, during which time they may not actually get any work. Does a week's notice provide that much help when trying to budget?

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:39 am

jbeadlesbigrighthand wrote:Very interesting article. The more you read about Amazon, the more sinister it seems. Essentially they're a prime example of the psychopathic nature of big corporations. This is nothing less than modern-day serfdom, and, sadly, it will only become more common-place as the influence of big business increases still further.

I believe that the only way to rein in the influence of the private sector is to forbid MPs from taking external employment (e.g. directorships) and to ban political donations from organisations.

For me, one of the worst things I've read in the news recently was that Buckingham Palace employs people on zero-hours contracts. Perhaps they could argue that they are doing it to minimise costs and therefore the strain on the public purse. Nonetheless, it has very unpleasant undertones. Also, given that the sole purpose of the monarchy is symbolic, it is a terrible example to set.

What's captured by the terms 'organisation'? What about a Trade Union, for example? Or about a wealthy individual making a personal donation who is linked to a business (either as owner or CEO etc)?

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:02 pm

Any group or individual not acting on their own behalf. That would include trade unions.

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:06 pm

Trade unions are a blight on society, so stopping them making donations would be now bad thing. Bob Crow is a monumental bell end, the sooner we see the back of him the better.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:42 pm

jbeadlesbigrighthand wrote:Any group or individual not acting on their own behalf. That would include trade unions.

But how do you prove someone is not acting on their own behalf?

What if someone is a CEO or major shareholder of a company and makes a donation? If it comes from their personal bank account will this be ok? Even though there could be just as much insinuation that it is to further that person's company's interests as if it had come from the company itself.

I agree the sentiment, but I think it would just be impossible to enforce (unless maybe you placed a very very low cap on donations).

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:58 am

Zero hours contracts have become too one-sided.  Introducing more flexible forms of working arrangement is one thing, but some of these arrangements take it much too far.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:28 am

Lumbering_Jack wrote:Trade unions are a blight on society

Rather ironic comment coming on a thread highlighting the erosion of workers rights.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:42 pm

Not considering TU's don't do anything to benefit 'workers rights'. They act solely for the benefit of their members. In the same way an exec board acts in the interests of its shareholders, except that at least private companies (based possibly out of guilt and PR) have CSR agendas. TU's have nothing of the sort.

Society isn't benefitted one iota by train drivers being on £55k pa, if anything quite the opposite as a market wage would allow greater employment in the sector and less cause for delays/closures due to 'insufficient staff' - code for: "We are legally bound to never make or allow anyone to work more than 35 hrs per week and as a result now cannot employ someone to drive your train".

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:28 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Not considering TU's don't do anything to benefit 'workers rights'.  They act solely for the benefit of their members.  In the same way an exec board acts in the interests of its shareholders, except that at least private companies (based possibly out of guilt and PR) have CSR agendas. TU's have nothing of the sort.  

Society isn't benefitted one iota by train drivers being on £55k pa, if anything quite the opposite as a market wage would allow greater employment in the sector and less cause for delays/closures due to 'insufficient staff' - code for: "We are legally bound to never make or allow anyone to work more than 35 hrs per week and as a result now cannot employ someone to drive your train".


CSR agendas mean nothing. They're about box ticking and image rather than good intentions. Regardless, trade unions do have CSR agendas.

CSR is also nothing to do with workers' rights, so not relevant to this discussion. Trade unions do improve workers' rights: Trade union members are workers and the issues trade unions lobby on often affect multiple industries. Whether that benefits society as a whole is a different matter. However, I'd be fairly confident arguing that trade unions are more beneficial to society than corporate boards. The fact is that trade unions whether or not you like all aspects of trade unions' work, they are a necessary evil, unless there is strong government regulation to protect workers' rights.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:46 pm

Agree CSR agends mean relatively little (hence my comment about them being largely derived from guilt/PR) but they are relevant in that it is an intended benefit to society which TU's don't bother with.

TU's don't do anything to help anyone that isn't paying them a fee. To say "they improve workers rights because their members are workers" is an entirely fallacious argument. They fight the corner of the people that pay them - employee-rep mercenaries, if you will.

There is lots of Gov't legislation to protect workers' rights. I know that as I experienced it when going through a redundancy process back in '09 and then in '10 through a TUPE process. The difference is TU's, and their supporters, think 'workers rights' extends to screwing all and sundry as long as their members get a better deal. That's why 'and conditions' is always added to a pay dispute, a smoke and mirrors PR exercise by the TU's to illicit a little public support and cover up that they are just trying to blackmail their way to a better pay-packet.

TU's may have done a lot of good in the past but, right now, they only represent a minority part of the work of the national workforce and therefore only benefit that same minority also.

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:16 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:Agree CSR agends mean relatively little (hence my comment about them being largely derived from guilt/PR) but they are relevant in that it is an intended benefit to society which TU's don't bother with.

TU's don't do anything to help anyone that isn't paying them a fee.  To say "they improve workers rights because their members are workers" is an entirely fallacious argument.  They fight the corner of the people that pay them - employee-rep mercenaries, if you will.  

There is lots of Gov't legislation to protect workers' rights.  I know that as I experienced it when going through a redundancy process back in '09 and then in '10 through a TUPE process.  The difference is TU's, and their supporters, think 'workers rights' extends to screwing all and sundry as long as their members get a better deal.  That's why 'and conditions' is always added to a pay dispute, a smoke and mirrors PR exercise by the TU's to illicit a little public support and cover up that they are just trying to blackmail their way to a better pay-packet.

TU's may have done a lot of good in the past but, right now, they only represent a minority part of the work of the national workforce and therefore only benefit that same minority also.

You can't agree that CSR policies are worthless, but then also argue that they are a reason why trade unions are worse than corporations. Especially given that Trade Unions do have CSR policies.

As for Unions only representing a minority of the workforce, that may be so, but given that there are millions of trade union members in the UK, it's a pretty significant minority.

Nonetheless, this is all a bit of a side-track from the original post.

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