Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 35

Thread: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

  1. #1
    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    London, England.
    Posts
    11,058

    Default The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun
    This is not merely a matter for your conscience. It affects your health, too



    Welcome to a Tale of Two Cities. Over the past fortnight, the hymns to London have been endless and gorgeous - but few have acknowledged that this is a megalopolis with a dirty secret: we are not one city at all. There is Daytime London, which arrives at work at 9am to find its offices clean, its bins empty and its carpets cleansed. You know this world. Its inhabitants have an average wage topping £25 an hour. They go to theatres and movies and bars, and easyJet to every corner of Europe. They congratulate themselves daily on living in the most ethnically and socially mixed city on earth.

    But there is another London that wakes in the night. It staggers on to the night bus at 4am to filter across hospitals, schools, and the temples of global finance and media to collect our rubbish and dispose of our crap. The average wage is under £5 an hour. The people who live in this other London do not go to theatres or cinemas or on holiday - they cannot afford it. They have been inhaled by London's economy from Africa, South America and every poor country in the world, and they see our self-congratulatory multiculturalism as a bitter joke. Thank you, thank you for letting us come here and skivvy for you 12 hours a day for less than a fiver an hour. How tolerant you are.

    In February this year, something extraordinary happened: the London of the night began to rebel. Starting in Canary Wharf, a wave of cleaners' strikes across Britain has forced up the wages of some of the country's poorest people - and today, it hits the heart of our democracy: the Palace of Westminster.

    Evrad Ouale is a 27-year-old from Ivory Coast who has cleaned in the House of Commons for four years. He lives in a dingy single room with his wife, and has not left the M25 area since he started the job. He scrambles for overtime, working 60 hours a week, but he admits that even when he is working ever conceivable hour, "You can barely live. It's horrible. We have no choice but to strike. We cannot continue like this".

    The way they are treated in Parliament is a grim metaphor for the way most of Britain's 1.5 million cleaners live and work. Their designated area is a filthy Dickensian basement plagued by rats and the stench of the Palace's sewage. Unlike parliamentary researchers or security guards, they are banned from entering the lavishly subsidised House of Commons restaurant between noon and 3pm, as if they were part of an Untouchable caste. They are given 12 days' holiday - that's 12 - a year, and paid £4.85 an hour. If they were British citizens, they would be entitled to have their wages topped-up through the government's excellent Family Credit. But since almost all the cleaners are migrant workers, they are forced to live at rates everyone admits are way below the poverty line.

    And within Parliament, the policy that has driven down the numbers and wages of cleaners over the past 20 years can be seen in all its fetid glory. The cleaners in the House of Lords are directly employed by the state, while responsibility for employing cleaners in the Commons has been contracted out to private companies who are paid a bulk fee to provide the service. The difference is a slap in the face: in the Lords, cleaners start at £7.89 an hour, receive a decent pension, and get 30 days' paid holiday a year - a package that seems utopian to their contracted-out neighbours in the next chamber.

    Does anyone need a clearer illustration of what happens when cleaners are contracted out? Study after study has found that there are no "efficiency savings" contributed by the privateer middlemen. No: they simply slash the wages of the poorest people (or lay off swaths of cleaners) and pocket the difference.

    This isn't merely a matter for your conscience. It affects your health, too. Since contracting-out began to tear through our public services in the early 1980s, the number of cleaners has nearly halved - and the rate of hospital infections has soared.

    So it is time to learn how our cleaners are treated, in both the public and private sectors. The workers' rights organisation NoSweat interviewed a number of cleaners who toil in Canary Wharf - our little chunk of New York scraping the sky - in January. One typical African woman, Marcia, explained how her 12-hour day panned out: "We are not allowed lockers because we might steal something and hide it there. When we leave in the morning we are searched by security men. There are no women security officers."

    Once she arrives at work, she is strictly forbidden from having any further contact with the outside world. She is not allowed to take in a mobile phone, and she is not allowed to use the phones there. "So, if the kids are sick, I can't ring home and check if they are OK. And once we start work, we are not allowed to rest. There is a supervisor or team leader behind you all the time. Apart from in the break time - 30 unpaid minutes - we cannot sit down". For all this, she receives a few hundred pounds a week to live in central London and raise her kids.

    So should we simply despair? Are Britain's cleaners condemned to poverty wages, a level set solely by The Market and never to change? No. Until this year, many people argued that an industry like cleaning is impossible to unionise: staff turnover is a revolving door, the workers speak little English, the workforce is fragmented and demoralised. But the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) has proven that this is a myth. Within a few months of recruiting, nearly 80 per cent of workers for Emprise and Mitie - two of the main cleaning firms in Europe - were paid-up union members. Starting in the Canary Wharf complex, they began to demand a living wage at the towering sum of £6.70 an hour, along with decent holiday time, sick pay and working conditions.

    And it worked. Barclays agreed to meet the demands, and now most companies in the Wharf have matched them. According to the T&G, only a shamed handful now refuse to pay a living wage - the Bank of America (annual profit: $2bn), Credit Suisse ($3.9bn) and Lehman Brothers ($672m).

    The excuse offered by neo-liberals for paying poverty wages - that it drives companies abroad - is exposed as a sham: are banks going to fly in workers from Bangalore to empty their bins? And anybody who claims that there is no need for trade unions anymore should be dragged to speak to the Canary Wharf cleaners - and the cleaners still fighting for a living wage.

    As the capital's cleaners begin to strike, I think it is time to end London's self-congratulation about our ethnic diversity. I love London and its spirit over the past fortnight, too. But while you are standing on carpets cleaned by hidden-away black and Asian people who earn a pittance for the privilege, please don't tell me this is a multicultural paradise.

    j.hari@independent.co.uk
    An article I really enjoyed and forgot to post here.

    It has been proven by our direct experience, that the privatising of cleaning services at public institutions has not only made the cleaning worse but the living standards of those most vulnerable in our society even worse. It is a disgrace.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

  2. #2
    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Between the Mountain and the Sound
    Posts
    11,074
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    It has been proven by our direct experience, that the privatising of cleaning services at public institutions has not only made the cleaning worse but the living standards of those most vulnerable in our society even worse. It is a disgrace.
    No end to socialism, huh? I just wonder- if all companies were nationalized, how would they sustain themselves, since they don't make a profit and couldn't leach off the private sector?

    Were cleaning services ever nationalized? Perhaps, if they were, it was nicer for the workers. They didn't have to worry about competition, didn't have to strive to work the hardest to make sure they kept their job. But for the consumer, it probably wasn't nice to have to pay for their high wages.

    But there is another London that wakes in the night. It staggers on to the night bus at 4am to filter across hospitals, schools, and the temples of global finance and media to collect our rubbish and dispose of our crap. The average wage is under £5 an hour. The people who live in this other London do not go to theatres or cinemas or on holiday - they cannot afford it. They have been inhaled by London's economy from Africa, South America and every poor country in the world, and they see our self-congratulatory multiculturalism as a bitter joke. Thank you, thank you for letting us come here and skivvy for you 12 hours a day for less than a fiver an hour. How tolerant you are.
    Well, boo hoo hoo. A bunch of people who immigrate to the country and work jobs that require a minimum of skill don't get to travel around on jets. And apparently, though they have been granted entry and wanted to come to Britain, they are bitter because they have jobs. What did they expect, silver platters and homes to be given to them?

    Evrad Ouale is a 27-year-old from Ivory Coast who has cleaned in the House of Commons for four years. He lives in a dingy single room with his wife, and has not left the M25 area since he started the job. He scrambles for overtime, working 60 hours a week, but he admits that even when he is working ever conceivable hour, "You can barely live. It's horrible. We have no choice but to strike. We cannot continue like this".
    'Scrambling for overtime'. Less than 9 hours a day is hardly 'scrambling for overtime'. And he makes $26,600 a year- yet he can barely live? Perhaps its all those high taxes.

    The way they are treated in Parliament is a grim metaphor for the way most of Britain's 1.5 million cleaners live and work. Their designated area is a filthy Dickensian basement plagued by rats and the stench of the Palace's sewage. Unlike parliamentary researchers or security guards, they are banned from entering the lavishly subsidised House of Commons restaurant between noon and 3pm, as if they were part of an Untouchable caste. They are given 12 days' holiday - that's 12 - a year, and paid £4.85 an hour. If they were British citizens, they would be entitled to have their wages topped-up through the government's excellent Family Credit. But since almost all the cleaners are migrant workers, they are forced to live at rates everyone admits are way below the poverty line.
    Uh-oh, they workplace isn't spotless! My goodness! It's almost as if they had to work around dirt! Not to mention- horror of horrors!- that they can't eat for the restaurant for a shocking 1/8 of the day! And the time one would expect them to be at home, if they were janitors who cleaned up after everyone left. And they don't even get welfare! What a shame! Too bad immigrants can't just come and get paid loads of money by the government for the great achievement of being alive and able to eat.

    Since contracting-out began to tear through our public services in the early 1980s, the number of cleaners has nearly halved - and the rate of hospital infections has soared.
    The number of cleaners has been halved? Sounds like there were twice too many to begin with. And hospital infections have increased? Perhaps because there are more people now?

    So it is time to learn how our cleaners are treated, in both the public and private sectors. The workers' rights organisation NoSweat interviewed a number of cleaners who toil in Canary Wharf - our little chunk of New York scraping the sky - in January. One typical African woman, Marcia, explained how her 12-hour day panned out: "We are not allowed lockers because we might steal something and hide it there. When we leave in the morning we are searched by security men. There are no women security officers."

    Once she arrives at work, she is strictly forbidden from having any further contact with the outside world. She is not allowed to take in a mobile phone, and she is not allowed to use the phones there. "So, if the kids are sick, I can't ring home and check if they are OK. And once we start work, we are not allowed to rest. There is a supervisor or team leader behind you all the time. Apart from in the break time - 30 unpaid minutes - we cannot sit down". For all this, she receives a few hundred pounds a week to live in central London and raise her kids.
    Well if you don't like the job, why don't you get another one. What's that, you're an unskilled person who can't get another job, or you lack the ambition to better yourself? But since you want better conditions, you want them to just be given to you? Noone should get anything based on their want, only based on their value. Otherwise the whole economy would collapse.

    So should we simply despair? Are Britain's cleaners condemned to poverty wages, a level set solely by The Market and never to change? No. Until this year, many people argued that an industry like cleaning is impossible to unionise: staff turnover is a revolving door, the workers speak little English, the workforce is fragmented and demoralised. But the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) has proven that this is a myth. Within a few months of recruiting, nearly 80 per cent of workers for Emprise and Mitie - two of the main cleaning firms in Europe - were paid-up union members. Starting in the Canary Wharf complex, they began to demand a living wage at the towering sum of £6.70 an hour, along with decent holiday time, sick pay and working conditions.
    Oh, goody, another monopoly which will only allow people to be hired if it agrees to their conditions. Hey, if you get nationalized companies and public employees unions, you can totally screw over anyone who wants to have a choice!

    The excuse offered by neo-liberals for paying poverty wages - that it drives companies abroad - is exposed as a sham: are banks going to fly in workers from Bangalore to empty their bins? And anybody who claims that there is no need for trade unions anymore should be dragged to speak to the Canary Wharf cleaners - and the cleaners still fighting for a living wage.
    When the costs for business increase, they will seek out more hospitable grounds. Each increase may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

    Crazed Rabbit

    P.S. check out my new sig!
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

  3. #3
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15,670

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    The House of Lords is getting it right while the democratically elected one isn't.

    So scrape democracy and go back to a full blown monarchy would seem the solution.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat
    Pape for global overlord!!
    Quote Originally Posted by English assassin
    Squid sources report that scientists taste "sort of like chicken"
    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    The rest is either as average as advertised or, in the case of the missionary, disappointing.

  4. #4
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    in the cloud.
    Posts
    9,007

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    I wish I would've skipped the original article and went straight to your rebuttal, CR. It would've made for much easier reading that slogging thru it as I did.

    Good for them if they can strike and get more money. But something tells me that more often than not there will be 10 workers willing to replace every striking one. There's undoubtedly many willing to work for that wage. That's why they immigrate there in the first place isnt it?
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    I've got 2 views on this, one is the stealth privitisation of government departments including everything from cleaners to Naval bases which are them "streamlined" by the contractor and no-one is the wiser. The government wants to cut back on 10,000 workers and no-one batted an eye but when Rover went bust the government was throwing money at it, pure hypocrasy.

    The other view is that these people come here from abroad and take what is probably the only job they can do, what do they expect? They are cleaners, they aren't going to get high salaries and neither do they deserve them, it is a totally unskilled job requiring no training, experience or qualifications. Why are we even letting in people who have no benefit to our society, if they come here with nothing they must be prepared to work at what they are able to do, if that is cleaning then so be it. If along the way they can persuade their employer to pay them more then best of luck to them, but it was them that accepted the job in the first place.

    This may seem heartless, but I think you'll find that almost everyone has to start at the bottom of the ladder, when I started work 14 years ago I came home with £50 per week, and what of the benefits they get for just living in this country like better health care and better education for their children, in any case I wont be striking to support their cause.

  6. #6
    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Between the Mountain and the Sound
    Posts
    11,074
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    This may seem heartless, but I think you'll find that almost everyone has to start at the bottom of the ladder, when I started work 14 years ago I came home with £50 per week, and what of the benefits they get for just living in this country like better health care and better education for their children, in any case I wont be striking to support their cause.
    Heartless? Not at all. Its the way the world works, the way the economy needs to work if you want a good economy.

    Consider the following: I am going to study to become an engineer. The highest paying job out of college. To get there (to pay for college), I have to take a bunch of crappy jobs, like working at a berry farm were the hours are longer, the pay lower, and the work harder than what these janitors are complaining about. And I didn't get overtime. But it will be worth it after I graduate.

    Crazed Rabbit
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

  7. #7
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Saint Antoine
    Posts
    9,935

    Default Re : The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Gome on, guys. Paying employees 'a living wage at the towering sum of £6.70 an hour, along with decent holiday time, sick pay and working conditions' is not a sign of communism or even socialism. It's a sign of first world decency and civilisation - those other pillars besides capitalism that our stable societies are build upon.
    Paying wages that an honest, working man can't support his family from is sooo thirld world...
    Anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant
    Texan by birth, woodpecker by the grace of God
    I would be the voice of your conscience if you had one - Brenus
    Bt why woulf we uy lsn'y Staraft - Fragony
    Not everything
    blue and underlined is a link


  8. #8
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Depends on whether they're around legally or not. Assuming a 2000hour work/year, 6.75 lbs/hour means they make 13,500 lbs/year, or $24K per year. That's a lot of money for unskilled-untrained labor, and there shouldn't be much complaint at that level.

    The problem I have is the European idea of 'decent holiday time'. In America, the top professionals might get 3 weeks holiday (4 if they work for the leadership of a major labor union). That's below your starting point, and it's a big part of the reason why you can't afford to pay your workers more.... they're not efficient enough.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  9. #9
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4,407

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    The problem I have is the European idea of 'decent holiday time'. In America, the top professionals might get 3 weeks holiday (4 if they work for the leadership of a major labor union). That's below your starting point, and it's a big part of the reason why you can't afford to pay your workers more.... they're not efficient enough.
    Well if 6 weeks of vacation is considered socialism then long live the revolution!


    CBR

  10. #10
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Im with CBR on this one.I rather have lesser paycheck then lesser holiday.It would start a revolution here if goverment would take away our precious 6 weeks of holiday.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  11. #11
    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Between Louis' sheets
    Posts
    10,369

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by kagemusha
    Im with CBR on this one.I rather have lesser paycheck then lesser holiday.It would start a revolution here if goverment would take away our precious 6 weeks of holiday.
    Wow you guys get six most people here only get 2 "starts writing to local congresssmen"
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

  12. #12
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Leading the formation !
    Posts
    7,918

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Excellent article. Very insightful. Thanks. More please !
    A Gamecenter with a dedicated Total War fanbase!
    Check out our Facebook!
    Email: shahed@outpost.be


  13. #13
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR
    Well if 6 weeks of vacation is considered socialism then long live the revolution!

    CBR
    It is Socialism, and it's why American workers are so much more productive than European ones (that, and our average work week is 43 hours instead of 35). Look, at the end of the day, companies cannot just 'give' money away to its employees. They have to earn it. They earn it by providing a service or manufacturing a good that the company can in turn sell for a profit (i.e. they make more money from selling the good or providing the service then they spent in paying for the employee). If your employees cost more than you're able to earn, as a corporation, you go belly up (or, in the case of Ericsson, you relocate all your design facilities to China).

    I would love 6 weeks of vacation a year, I really would. But the fact is if I took that much time off 1) my company would be hard pressed to get its work done and would suffer in terms of market share or 2) they don't really need me and they're just paying me to be there. As a shareholder in my company (beyond being an employee) neither scenario is particularly appealing to me, and the shareholder side of me will not allow the employee side of me to screw my company like that.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  14. #14
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4,407

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Here in Denmark average weekly hours for men are 41 and for women its 35 hours. But the maximum 37 hours/week is used in a lot of working places. You are also entitled to 5 weeks vacation but some has more depending on the agreements. Denmark is also one of the EU countries with the highest employment rate and the lowest unemployment rate(around 6% IIRC)

    For a socialist country we seem to manage fine.


    CBR

  15. #15
    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Lisbon,Portugal
    Posts
    4,952

    Wink Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    damn right.....if it´s socialism ...fine so be it....

    and if anyone comes near my vacation time i´ll go ape!

    We cook your meals, we drive your ambulances. We connect your calls, we guard you while you sleep. Do not... [] with us.

    His name is Robert Paulsen.
    His name is Robert Paulsen.
    His name is Robert Paulsen.
    His name is Robert Paulsen.
    His name is Robert Paulsen.
    His name is Robert Paulsen.
    Last edited by KukriKhan; 08-01-2005 at 23:39.
    "If given the choice to be the shepherd or the sheep... be the wolf"
    -Josh Homme
    "That's the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!"
    - Calvin

  16. #16
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR
    Here in Denmark average weekly hours for men are 41 and for women its 35 hours. But the maximum 37 hours/week is used in a lot of working places. You are also entitled to 5 weeks vacation but some has more depending on the agreements. Denmark is also one of the EU countries with the highest employment rate and the lowest unemployment rate(around 6% IIRC)

    For a socialist country we seem to manage fine.


    CBR
    For a socialist country, you do indeed. Yet, we have a complete and utter fool, George W Bush running our semi-capitalist economy, and he's got our unemployment down around 5%. What's more, these are those fat, ignorant mentally inferior Americans we all like to laugh at in the workforce. For the intellectually superior Europeans, this must be a dismal failure. How could you come up short to a 'moron' like "W"? With Danish workers, instead of American ones for that matter... I know... the US Department of Labor must be lying and conspiring to hide the true unemployment figures...
    Last edited by Don Corleone; 08-01-2005 at 21:37.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  17. #17
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Don,can you enlighten me with something?I dont know is it just us Finns,but i think our average vages are lower in similar businesses compered to USA.I think that compensates the lack of "productivity" caused by our longer holidays.By cutting down production costs.Average salary for worker in Finnland is about 2000-2500 Euros.How much is it in USA?
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    To take this off on a different tangent .
    How do the security services do the thorough backround check on these workers who have access to the home of the British government ?

  19. #19
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by kagemusha
    Don,can you enlighten me with something?I dont know is it just us Finns,but i think our average vages are lower in similar businesses compered to USA.I think that compensates the lack of "productivity" caused by our longer holidays.By cutting down production costs.Average salary for worker in Finnland is about 2000-2500 Euros.How much is it in USA?
    The average Finn only makes 2000 Euros a year? How can you possibly live on that, when you have a shared economy with Europe? I've been to Finland, the prices are relatively cheap for European standards, but still slightly high for America. How can you afford to live on 2000 Euros? Or did you drop a zero?
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  20. #20
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    The average Finn only makes 2000 Euros a year? How can you possibly live on that, when you have a shared economy with Europe? I've been to Finland, the prices are relatively cheap for European standards, but still slightly high for America. How can you afford to live on 2000 Euros? Or did you drop a zero?
    Sorry i meant monthly wages,before taxes.We allways talk about monthly wages here in Finland.And i didnt remember that everyone else speaks about annual.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  21. #21
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    2000 Euros a month is 24,000 Euros a year. 2500/month is 30,000. That's $ 29,000 to $36,500 average.

    In America, according to the US Department of Labor, the median family income is $52,231. That's family, not individual. I believe 70% of all households have 1 or more income, so roughly speaking, the median American wage is $30,700 or 25,000Euros/year or 2100Euros/month. Roughly the same, but slightly lower than the average 2250Euros/month of the Finns.

    Remember, productivity takes into account wage differences. It relates the value out in produced goods to value in in paid wages. That's why American workers are much more productive than Chinese ones, because American workers, while more expensive, can produce more value. However, most businesses focus on absolute cost, not productivity (only governments and chest-beaters pay attention to those numbers).
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  22. #22
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Thanks for the info Don. Btw our working hours per week are 37.5 hours.I read about Denmarks unimployment rate and i must commit we arent that fortunete ones.Our unimployment rate is about 10% and it has been that way for a quit a long time now.It seems as if we can produce expensive high quality products and in the other end of the sphere,very cheap paper products with highly automatized Paper factories.But the mass industry that provides large amounts of average payed jobs has left our country for good.Also joining EU has practically killed our agricultural jobs.So now we are in ridiculous situation where we have "too many"workers in five million people Country.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  23. #23
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4,407

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Don

    I dont recall I have ever called Americans "ignorant mentally inferior" nor do I consider Europeans to be "intellectually superior." I guess you are reacting to the usual leftwing US bashers who always likes to drag a discussion down into the mud but Im certainly not one of them.

    USA has a system that seems to give an overall good result but so do other countries that use other ways. I do find the quick dismissal of EU economy based on working hours or vacation to be a simplistic one. A factor like R&D or rather the lack of it is one reason for lack of economic growth in EU, just to name one example.


    CBR

  24. #24
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    I didn't mean you specifically, but it's not hard, on our end, to see that we're not the brightest people in your (collective Europeans) eyes.

    Truth be told, I think you guys put more state money into R&D then we do. I believe the reason European econcomies haven't prospered in equal measure to America's is that we tax our businesses much less. More of the overall tax burden is placed on the individual taxpayers over here. In that environment, it's easier to turn a profit.

    You also put too many restrictions on prospetive employers. If I was thinking about expanding my operations and increasing my workforce by 5%, I wouldn't think twice about doing so in the US. But if I knew that if I was wrong and wound up having to lay them off in a year, I'd have to pay for them for 2 years regardless, I'd be much, much less likely to hire them in the first place.

    Yes, I'm oversimplifying with my 2 descriptions here, but I hope I've communicated the gist what I see as the problems. If not, after I get back from running to pick up dinner for the clan, I'll expand.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  25. #25
    Member Member Azi Tohak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Smallville USA.
    Posts
    971

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Well...I might have contributed...but Don and Crazed Rabbit have already done quite well.

    Thanks guys. Good job!

    Azi
    "If you don't want to work, become a reporter. That awful power, the public opinion of the nation, was created by a horde of self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditch digging and shoemaking and fetched up journalism on their way to the poorhouse."
    Mark Twain 1881

  26. #26
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4,407

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Here is a link on R&D: http://europa.eu.int/abc/keyfigures/...essible_en.htm EU is behind both US and Japan.

    The restriction you mention are not like that in all countries. I believe Germany is the worst actually but could be mistaken. But its definitely not a good thing and is hurting companies yes.


    CBR

  27. #27
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15,670

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    I grew up on a farm... makes the rest of you guys look like socialists.

    dad is a strutural engineer and used to work 50 to 60 hour weeks then on the weekend work on small contracts or go and work on the farm for the weekend.

    I have done an exploration job... 10-12 hours a day, 59 days in a row, no weekends.

    nowadays I work on call... have been called in on my birthday... the only day that i didn't have to go to work when called on was my wedding day...I took the following monday off as well.

    Typically I take a total off of one week per annum, but I am entitled to four... the last week I have taken off 4 days ... two for the birth of my newborn and two extra for the first four days at home.

    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat
    Pape for global overlord!!
    Quote Originally Posted by English assassin
    Squid sources report that scientists taste "sort of like chicken"
    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    The rest is either as average as advertised or, in the case of the missionary, disappointing.

  28. #28
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    And I can chin with one finger. For crying out loud Papewaio, what part of 'average American workweek' do you not understand? For every 20 hour a week sales clerk, there's one of us working 60 hours.

    Glad to hear you work hard, but trust me, you ain't the only one.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  29. #29

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Hehe, another pissing contest, ewll let's see.

    When I just finished my apprenticeship I was working 12 hour days, 6 days a week for about 3 months then it died down to about 50 hour per week. I left that job to get a job on a cruise ship where I worked 12 hour days, 7 day weeks for about 10 months with 5 weeks leave, oh and on call the whole time.

    Of, course that was when I was younger, now I have a 37 hour per week job, I don't work overtime, paid sick leave, 30 days leave not including public holidays, flexi-time and I earn about £23k a year. I could earn a lot more doing the same job for another company but that would mean more hours and I can pay my mortgage now so I see no need to put more effort in for more money.

    Of course the wife would like me to earn more so she can go part-time.
    Last edited by Ja'chyra; 08-02-2005 at 08:16.

  30. #30
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15,670

    Default Re: The rebellion of Britain's hidden army of underpaid cleaners has finally begun

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    And I can chin with one finger. For crying out loud Papewaio, what part of 'average American workweek' do you not understand? For every 20 hour a week sales clerk, there's one of us working 60 hours.

    Glad to hear you work hard, but trust me, you ain't the only one.
    I know I ain't the only one, but I don't think it is a matter of countries but individuals.

    And I'm sure the same applies around the world... that is the problem with averages, also unpaid overtime, lunch at desk etc... the working week for most full time employers is far above the average. Makes sense when you figure in students, parents and other workers, also people like teachers whose work time is normally only equated to teaching hours not prepartion, research and marking.

    I'm sure virtually every nation has a core of hard and/or smart working people.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat
    Pape for global overlord!!
    Quote Originally Posted by English assassin
    Squid sources report that scientists taste "sort of like chicken"
    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    The rest is either as average as advertised or, in the case of the missionary, disappointing.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO