Unions identify unsustainable working practices and low wages as the real cause of supply chain crisis in the meat industry that is strangling the economy.

998
Workers rights

While diehard Remainers and centrist Rejoiners try to blame the woes of the world on Brexit unions and the LeFT are making inroads at not only identifying the issues but leveraging their position to win worker’s rights and better wages.

There were many reasons to vote to leave the EU and many reasons to remain, no matter where you were on the argument the result was final, we are where we are!

For many of us, we understood that a leave result would be the catalyst for change. Leaving the EU would rupture the status quo, disrupting the political agenda of the centrist and their push for globalisation.

This distribution is the time to leverage the working-class position on wages and workers rights.

Many socialists understood that leaving the EU would open up opportunities. Under the acronym LeFT (Leave Fight Transform) we hoped to organise comrades in the never-ending battle to bring about the emancipation of the working class.

For years, British shoppers have enjoyed the benefits that an underpaid and underappreciated workforce has delivered.

“Those days are gone. If you want to fix the problem [of food shortages] you have to pay workers more but you also have to take away the power and monopoly of the supermarkets otherwise that pay rise will be seen in supermarket prices. There is no other option.”

The number of job vacancies has topped the 1m level for the first time. Firms are screaming out for staff. Labour shortages abound. Wage growth is accelerating. There are calls from industry lobby groups for the government to ease the pressure by granting more visas for EU workers.

At which point it may be worth taking a second or two to ask a simple question: if labour shortages are driving up the wages of low-paid workers then what is wrong with that?

Let’s be honest it really is not such a crisis people are not going hungry. The truth is People were actually going hungry long before Brexit. Not just the unemployed but we witnessed in-work poverty and a defunct system of universal credit that has driven hundreds of thousands to food banks. That is a real crisis that has existed for well over a decade and has nothing to do with lorry drivers or the lack of.

It is embarrassing the only answer for some is to blame Brexit and play on bringing back cheap exploited labour from east European countries, taking away any hope of drivers leveraging better pay.

Unions are now understanding the position they have, the power to leverage through collective bargaining better workers rights and wages.

It’s the unsustainable working practices and low wages that are the real cause of the supply chain crisis, from lorry driving to the meat industry these are the issues strangling the economy.

But while people argue and debate many different causes of this, GMB Union has said we’re missing the basic problem.
Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, said:

“There is no future for two twelve hours shifts in the abattoirs where workers are on their feet for the duration. We put an end to twelve-hour shifts once before in the gas industry.

“The employers and the farmers need to recognise the need to radically reorganise work practices and pay to ensure capacity for a steady and secure meat supply chain.

“Warning about shortages of ‘pigs in blankets for Christmas and seeking changes to the migration system is ignoring the basic problem. Work practices in the abattoirs are utterly unsustainable and require radical changes.

“We need to end the low-wage, low-margin business model that allows retailers to strangle our supply chain. Years and years of cost pressures on the supply chain from the big retailers and others is now coming home to roost.

“It’s time the meat industry joined with GMB to take a stand against the retailers to ensure a UK supply chain has fair wages and decent working conditions.”

Collective bargaining and regulations on profiteering supermarkets how we win not shipping in a free flow of cheap Labour.

It is perhaps unsurprising that Brexit divided the nation in the way it did. If you were in a relatively well-paid job and not at risk of being replaced or undercut by a worker from overseas, you were likely to vote remain. The Polish plumber was cheaper, the Lithuanian nanny was better educated, so what was not to like?

If, on the other hand, you were part of Britain’s casualised workforce, needing two or more part-time jobs to get by, you were much more likely to vote leave, on the grounds that tougher controls on migration would lead to a tighter labour market, which in turn would push up wages.

Support Labour Heartlands

PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREE

HELP US GROW.

This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.
This blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.
You can have access to all of our online work for free. However if you want to support what we do, you could make a small donation to help us keep writing and staying ad-free.
The choice is entirely yours.