It is the power imbalance which allows giant brands to mistreat their staff, says Labour’s Pat Osborne.
P&O Ferries sacked 800 staff without notice by video this month, replacing them with agency workers on worse pay and conditions.
As a subsidiary of Dubai-based DP World, a firm owned by the Dubai royal family, P&O aren’t exactly
short of a bob or two.
In fact, over the last two years DP World has paid out more than $376 million in dividends to their
royal shareholders, at the same time as reportedly receiving more than £30 million in emergency
funding from the UK government (including benefitting from the taxpayer funded furlough scheme) while sitting on the kind of bank balance that has Scrooge McDuck reaching for his swimming trunks.
P&O aren’t alone in engineering a deliberate race to the bottom for pay and conditions. Household
names like British Gas, BA, Weetabix, TESCO, ASDA and Clarks have all used ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to bully and intimidate their staff into accepting cuts to pay and conditions in recent times. It seems that the Tories
have created an environment where bad bosses think they have license to tear up staff contracts, leaving many working people leaning into the cost-of-living crisis feeling more insecure about their jobs and income than at any time since WWII.
We need to reverse this race to the bottom for pay and conditions by ending the power imbalance that allows bad employers to treat their staff in this way. That’s why Labour’s ‘New Deal for Working People’ and Keir Starmer’s promise that a Labour government will write it into law within 100 days of taking office
are so important. Under Labour, work will be more secure and better-paid because unions and individuals will be given stronger rights to redress power imbalances in the workplace.