Thursday, 9 August 2012

Not Slave Labour If We Do It

Once upon a time if a company wanted to hire workers and pay them a pittance they would have to go to places like India or China but now thanks to the Government, they don't need to go to Asia to pay someone £3 a day for a full days work, they can do it here.
The Ministry of Justice is planning to run call centres from inside prisons as part of its work programme for prisoners rehabilitation.
Good idea you may think, give the prisoners a skill which may help them when they are released and i would agree if the leaflet sent out to prospective clients didn't boast of offering 'lower costs and overheads' to businesses if they signed up.
'The opportunity for your organisation is a higher corporate responsibility profile by engaging in a high-profile initiative supported by the Ministry of Justice, lower costs and overheads for trained contract centre agents, flexible resources that can deal with overflow calls and specific projects, all dedicated to growing and supporting your business' the leaflet read.
'A fantastic rehabilitation revolution which offers operators with British Regional accents as an effective alternative to off shoring operations'.
Prisoners from open prisons in Wales have already been working in private call centres outside of the prison walls and have been paid £3 a day, the current rate for a prisoner on work experience. The minimum wage is £6.08 an hour for anyone over 21 so a prisoner would need to work for 2 days to equal what a minimum wage worker would earn in an hour.
David Cameron is behind it, urging business to take advantage of the opportunity to 'invest in the future of their companies and the country as a whole. I urge others to follow their lead and seize the opportunity that working prisons offer.'
The most obvious point is paying someone £3 a day for a job that they should rightly earn at least £6 an hour for is slave labour. We campaign against companies that pay such wages in other countries.
The second point is this will replace jobs which would otherwise have gone to the public who are facing testing times and unemployment spirals upwards.
Thirdly, and most importantly, we are expected to give all our personal details to someone at a call centre who is a convicted criminal? Nice one.


david g said...

Better watch out, Lucy, Britain...I'm sorry, GREAT BRITAIN may be invaded by hoards of unemployed Yanks anxious to make three quid!

And the great thing is that the Yanks all think they are exceptional which will help them to adjust to the average Britain who, still living in the distant past, thinks they are far beyond exceptional!

YuSA, YuSA, YuSA! (Yankee Stupid Arses)


P.S. God Save Our Queen!

Cheezy said...

Someone's stopped taking his ritalin, I see...

Anyway, this is a terrible policy, Lucy. It's both immoral and bad for the economy in the long term... I'm not against prisoners working but it's important that they either perform tasks which would otherwise not get done; or, if they're providing a bona fide economic service then it should cost the employer the proper market rate (even if it doesn't all go to the prisoner - maybe it could be used to help provide restitution to the victim?)...

If it gets implemented then, like the 'beneficiary workforce' who work for Tesco, it would show the extent to which massive corporations hold sway over government policy at the moment.

Do you know if it's likely to actually happen? Or are the government just putting it out there, to see what people say?

Lucy said...

It sounds as though it is going to happen as the leaflets have gone out advertising the wonderful opportunity. I like the idea of giving them the minimum wage and some of the prisoners pay going to provide restitution to the victim but i can just see firms thinking wow, i can get a member of staff for £3 a day, when i am paying £48 a day for one now, where do i sign up?

Anonymous said...

i don't know, i work for a company that has a large call center and frankly, i would never work in any call center unless it was my last option - they are brutal and without doubt a form of punishment...

david - i'm running out of insults for you and don't want to be like you and repeat the same thing over 7 million times... just be assured of one thing, when prisons become call centers, and they let you out of the looney bin, you will have plenty of employment opportunities...