Blogue de opinião e divulgação.
Segunda-feira, 16 de Fevereiro de 2009
This is a race to the bottom

 

These strikes aren't about xenophobia. Free markets and the large corporations have run out of control

The wave of strikes across the country should come as no surprise. Popular anger is overcoming complacency and fear. The recession is exposing the true nature of the British economy. We are a country that has been ransacked by the free flow of capital. The strikes are not about xenophobia, they're about large corporations and free markets that are out of control.

 

The Lincolnshire refinery where the current dispute began is owned by the US oil company Total. It employs the giant American engineering company Jacobs which then subcontracts to an Italian firm, IREM, which cut its labour costs by using its own Italian and Portuguese workers. Big engineering contractors have been recruiting compliant and cheap foreign labour for years.

 

Britain has lost control of key industries and their labour procurement procedures. The Lincolnshire dispute is a small symptom of a big problem. Britain is a country that no longer owns the productive processes that create its wealth. Crucial economic sectors have been handed over to unaccountable foreign ownership. The government has abandoned workers to exploitation, more concerned with making them fit the global market than in protecting their interests. In Labour's working-class heartlands there is a powerful feeling of being dispossessed.

 

British and European labour market policies have centred on the drive for flexibility. The increase in short-term contracts, agency work, subcontracting and use of the "self-employed" have left workers with fewer rights. The workforce in Britain is one of the least protected in that market. Growth in employment has been concentrated in low-skill, low-wage jobs in poor conditions. The growing use of temporary and agency workers is spreading these conditions to other parts of the economy.

 

But worse has been a series of court rulings that have further deregulated labour markets. In 2003 the Finnish ferry company Viking Line reflagged its vessel and employed an Estonian crew, cutting its wage costs by 60%. Its actions were upheld by the European court of justice. In 2004 a Latvian company, Laval, sent workers to building sites in Sweden. The Swedish construction union asked the company to agree to the existing collective agreement within the building sector. It refused, operating instead under the Latvian agreement - including lower pay that undercut the Swedish workers' wages. Again, the court ruled in the company's favour. Workers' conditions and pay need only comply with the laws of the company's home country.

 

The government has done nothing to halt the EU race to the bottom. Its own labour market policies succeeded in the boom years because exploitation, precarious jobs and exploitative levels of pay could be offset by cheap credit and then hidden behind the sparkle of consumerism. Those times are over. With social insurance in short supply, people's key source of economic security was the rising asset value of their homes. That's gone. There is no cheap credit to make up for falling or stagnant wages.

 

The left must offer a real and viable alternative. We have to reverse the years of wealth redistribution from poor to rich. We need regulation to end low pay, low skill and casualised labour. Strong trade unions are the best defence against exploitation. Work and quality of life can be improved by introducing a living wage. And why don't we discuss having a maximum income? Both can be defined by establishing a maximum ratio of difference between the most and least well-paid. We need to create new forms of economic citizenship, and bring the economy and work under greater democratic control. That should be the agenda, not "British jobs for British workers".

Jon Cruddas

The Guardian, Saturday 31 January 2009

 

 



publicado por codigo430 às 00:00
link do post | comentar | favorito
|

Euro vs US Dollar
[Most Recent Exchange Rate from www.kitco.com]
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Dear Prudence
Coldplay - Paradise (Official)
Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers
Je suis un homme - zazie
Vídeos
posts recentes

Fontes do Crescimento Eco...

El duro discurso de Marth...

¿Por qué el 'padre del iP...

A história de um Chef que...

Trabalho de pesquisa

Estatísticas do Turismo

Estrelas

Organizações Mundiais

Pent

Prova de Economia

links
tags

vídeos

opinião

cidadania

crise

democracia

economia

avaliação

globalização

humor

informação

outros temas

professores

actividades

música

enriquecimento

ambiente

sociologia

recursos

tve2

eua

informação vídeos

rtp

gripe

militarismo

videos

estudos

ensino

alunos

sic

estatísticas

escola

europeias

visitas de estudo

agricultura

poesia

fenprof

tvi

china

video

fome

divulgação

saramago

cef

iraque

profissional

vídeos tve2

galeano

leap

manifestações

pobreza informação

teoria

tve1

espinho

petróleo

técnico de secretariado

turismo

dia mundial

guerra

honduras

rosa

brasil

coltan

cultura

democracy

emigração

informação tve2

jn

laranjeira

outros temas vídeos

porto

sindicatos

colóquios

desigualdade

direito

economia tve2

estado

expresso

frases

galbraith

galeano tve2

gripe vídeos

obama

ocde

palestina

pedagogia

pobreza

privado

público

redes sociais

rt

técnico de comércio visitas de estudo

afeganistão

água informação vídeos

bbc

cgtp

chossudovsky

educação

fne

irão

manuel freire

todas as tags

Dívida Pública Mundial e por país

Tocar na imagem!
Outubro 2016
Dom
Seg
Ter
Qua
Qui
Sex
Sab

1

2
3
4
5
6
7
8

9
10
11
12
13
14
15

16
17
18
19
20
21
22

23
24
25
26
27
28
29

30
31


pesquisar
 
subscrever feeds
arquivos

Outubro 2016

Dezembro 2015

Setembro 2015

Dezembro 2014

Novembro 2014

Outubro 2014

Setembro 2014

Agosto 2014

Junho 2014

Maio 2014

Abril 2014

Março 2014

Janeiro 2014

Novembro 2013

Outubro 2013

Setembro 2013

Agosto 2013

Novembro 2012

Outubro 2012

Setembro 2012

Julho 2012

Maio 2012

Abril 2012

Março 2012

Fevereiro 2012

Janeiro 2012

Dezembro 2011

Novembro 2011

Outubro 2011

Setembro 2011

Julho 2011

Maio 2011

Abril 2011

Março 2011

Fevereiro 2011

Janeiro 2011

Dezembro 2010

Novembro 2010

Outubro 2010

Setembro 2010

Dezembro 2009

Novembro 2009

Outubro 2009

Setembro 2009

Agosto 2009

Julho 2009

Junho 2009

Maio 2009

Abril 2009

Março 2009

Fevereiro 2009

Janeiro 2009

Dezembro 2008

Novembro 2008

Outubro 2008

Setembro 2008

Agosto 2008

Julho 2008

Junho 2008

Maio 2008

Abril 2008

Março 2008

Fevereiro 2008

Janeiro 2008

Dezembro 2007

Novembro 2007

Outubro 2007

Setembro 2007

Agosto 2007

Julho 2007

Junho 2007

Maio 2007

Abril 2007

Março 2007

Fevereiro 2007

Janeiro 2007

Dezembro 2006

Novembro 2006

Outubro 2006

Setembro 2006

Maio 2006