Socialist Worker

Bosses now get 183 times more in pay than workers

Issue No. 2467

All fall graphic

The bosses of Britain’s top 100 firms have grabbed almost £5 million each.

The typical pay packages of the highest-paid bosses are now 183 times greater than the average worker’s annual salary of £27,000.

In 2011 the figure was 139. In 1998 it was 47. 

Only one in four FTSE 100 companies pay all staff the living wage, which is £7.85 an hour.

The typical salaries of executives leading the biggest firms on the London Stock Exchange was 

£4.96 million in 2014, up from £4.92 million in 2013.

A report by the High Pay Centre think-tank, said the top ten highest-paid bosses alone were paid more than £156 million between them.


Lordly expenses

Peers who did not vote in a single debate last year claimed more than £100,000 in expenses allowances.

During the whole of the last five-year Parliament, 62 members of the House of Lords never voted and yet took home a total of £360,000.

Peers can claim £300 tax-free for every sitting day they attend the House, as well as limited travel expenses. But some appear to stay for just a short period, without attending any votes.


Labour's Kylie

The labour right hasn’t just lost the plot of the leadership election. Former Blairite minister Alan Johnson has compared Tessa Jowell to Kylie Minogue. 

In a letter urging Labour members to make her their London mayoral candidate (Jowell, that is, not Minogue) he wrote, “She is Labour’s Kylie—everyone loves her and she only needs a first name.”


Amazon workers race to the bottom

Amazon factories are notorious and now The New York Times has exposed what it’s like to work at the retail giant’s Seattle offices. 

Amazon encourages its “Amabots” to harshly criticise themselves and each other for their shortcomings.

Team members are ranked, and those at the bottom get eliminated every year. It is deliberate polcy to keep turnover high. One worker said, “You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus… It’s a horrible feeling.”

Workers have been criticised for scaling back their hours to take care of sick and dying family members or small children. 

A woman who had thyroid cancer was given a low performance rating after she returned. 

Another woman suffering from breast cancer was put on a “performance improvement plan” because her personal “difficulties” had interfered with fulfilling her work goals.

According to former Amazon employee Bo Olson, “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk”. 


Bloody Ukippers going over there...

Mike Hookem, Ukip MEP for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire, said he had been threatened by a “migrant” in the French port of Dunkirk, apprently. 

He added that, “I hope police find these criminals, we can’t have them in the UK”.

But according to French police the man who allegedly threatened Hookem was in fact British. 

And his car had English number plates. 


Ukip against extremism

Ukip’s battle against extremism continues. Euro MP for the East of England, Tim Aker, has lashed out at calls to ban smoking in pub beer gardens.

He said, “These fanatics won’t lay off smokers nor do they realise how much damage these plans will to do the pub and club trade. 

“People have it hard enough as it is and should be allowed to go for a pint and a smoke in peace.”


Workers can’t afford to have children 

The minimum cost of a child from birth to age 18 is now £149,805. Families with both parents working full time on minimum wage fall short by 16 percent.

The Cost of A Child 2015 by Loughborough University’s Donald Hirsch for Child Poverty Action Group reveal that families where both parents are out of work fall short by  43 percent. 

Lone parents in work fall short by 13 percent. And lone parents out of work miss the amount by 39 percent. 


Commonwealth Games failure

A mountain of Commonwealth Games furniture worth millions has been left to rot in a damp and filthy warehouse.

One supposed legacy of Glasgow 2014 was to be that thousands of mattresses, beds, wardrobes and chairs from the athletes village would be distributed to poor families.

But according to the Daily Record newspaper, Glasgow Housing Association has allowed thousands of pieces of furniture to be destroyed. 

They were held in the warehouse for over a year.


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The Troublemaker
Tue 18 Aug 2015, 17:31 BST
Issue No. 2467
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