Unite Scrooge Awards 2018
Unite’s regional officers have nominated the companies they consider worthy of the title Scrooge Employer of the Year 2018.
A Scrooge employer is one who goes the extra mile to make the working lives of their workforce just a little bit more miserable or difficult, by cutting pay, conditions or other petty workplace injustices.
In the run-up to Christmas Unite will be counting down to unveil this year's #1 Scrooge Employer of the year.
Scrooge Employer Nominees
6. ESS (part of the Compass Group): For stealing workers’ weeks. In order to boost its profits the company, which employs cleaners and mess hands on outsourced MoD contracts on the South coast in the Gosport area, cut the working weeks of its staff. The minimum wage employees have been forced to be employed for 50 or 48 weeks a year with the remaining weeks being unpaid. The company has also cut the workers’ holiday, as a result of this policy. Management have also bullied and victimised workers who have complained. Gosport MP and MoD wash hand on exploited ESS workers.
7. XPO Logistics: For failing to pay workers correctly for six months (with frequent and unpredictable under and overpayment). When XPO overpaid workers, the firm deployed aggressive measures to recoup the money. XPO Logistics must get its house in order.
8. Bristol Waste: The extremely profitable company wholly owned by Bristol council tried to buy off its workforce after offering them a below inflation pay offer, by giving them tickets to a pantomime. Unite demands pay not panto tickets.
9. Tower Hamlets GP Care Group: In a bid to save money when their contract was up for renewal, THGP Care Group packed so many health visitors into a tiny room that those sitting by the wall now have to ask three colleagues to stand up so that they can get out to go to the toilet.
10. Clece Care Services: Clece provide passenger mobility assistance at London Luton Airport. Members who provide such a crucial service are on the minimum wage and currently in the midst of an ongoing dispute with CCS over their failure to pay the real living wage. Workers have taken 19 days of industrial action on the pay claim which dates back to 1 November 2017, after the company refused to make an offer. Unite’s claim was for all workers to receive the real living wage. The current offer is: A one off payment of £100 to all employees on a guaranteed hours contract (excluding the workers on a zero hours contract). Then a 2 per cent increase in April 2019 and a 2 per cent increase in April 2020. Low paid workers at Luton airport intensify their industrial action.
11. Parc Adfer waste to energy facility construction site, involving CNIM, Wheelabrator & Flintshire County Council: All three organisations are responsible for pushing construction workers into a race to the bottom. The organisations have capped wages at the living wage which is an incredible 64 per cent below the agreed industry rates for this type of construction work. Workers have protested at Parc Adfer construction site. The welfare facilities, especially the toilets, have also found to be disgusting at the site.
12. Briggs Marine (the Woolwich Ferry): For telling staff that from this Christmas onwards, they would get no overtime for working weekends. As well as bringing into service two shiny new boats ready for this Christmas – and paying for it by cutting staffing by 30 per cent. The company’s actions have resulted in workers balloting for industrial action.
13. Balfour Beatty: At the Dundee train station site workers had no toilet facilities on site but had to cross Dundee’s inner ring road to access welfare facilities. Unite raised the issue with managers who were reluctant to address the problem. Having contacted the client Dundee city council, it was only then that Balfour Beatty installed a Portaloo. This underlines the importance of Unite’s campaign for toilet dignity.
14. Prysmian Cables and Systems: the Wrexham based company offered staff a below inflation 2 per cent pay increase and then tried to sugar the pill and buy them off with a sausage/bacon bap.