There has come a time when I have to start discussing work. I like to consider myself a good worker. Committed, hard working, ethical, timely, always following the rules of health and safety but still providing my employer with a genuine hard days graft in return for what I consider a decent wage for the job I do. And above all, I have always taken pride in my work. Doing my very best to get the job done right first time, every time. Because one of the things I’ve seen in UK business these days which does cost our economy and sadly, plays into the hands of them evil Tories that want employment law rolled back to pre-Industrial Revolution, is a lack of care done by many, meaning that mistakes are made, mistakes which someone else will have to end up fixing.
Our guys weren’t too bad at that sort of thing though. We had a good team at our place, no deadwood in sight. But last September a shift was made redundant from my factory. And I can understand why. It wasn’t running at a profit and sales were way down thanks to the economy slowing. (Translated that means cos the ConDems are crap!) The plant running time was reduced, new shifts and Terms & Conditions were introduced, but it was a deal that even the workforce agreed and were happy with.
But when holiday time approached and a gaping hole appeared in the rota, the boss tried to keep production levels at current levels by asking guys to work 15hr shifts. Guys that already work a 48hr week in a physically demanding and utterly filthy job. Slowly morale began deteriorating.
Today, after another bale of straw was lobbed onto this camels back, they are no longer paying for my pride.
It’s holiday time again. Lots of guys off for a fortnight, leaving an already stretched workforce pushed to the very limit. Before the redundancies, there were two men taking just over 3 hours to do my job. After the redundancies I was given just over four hours to do the same amount of work, alone. I accomplished this by working hard to keep the equipment in tip top shape and super clean every night, making it easier to clean the following shift. This in turn made my job slightly easier.
Now, a lack of manpower has meant having to kill some production time to make sure all positions are covered, but the time for cleaning has been reduced back down to just over three hours. Today it was pushed under three hours. I was going full pelt before in order to complete the task assigned me in the time allotted. I’m not sure it’s possible to go any faster without doing some harm to my health. But that’s capitalism.
My company has always been pretty decent with it’s staff. And the staff have always been willing to go that extra mile to get the job done. But how many miles can you go these days? I already feel like for 4days of the week, I have no life except to work, eat, sleep, repeat. I even started typing this over a plate of cheesy pasta, to save time and make sure I still get a half decent nights sleep, something that I’ve been missing out on recently, as I keep waking up worried that I’ve slept in for work. (Yes I know it’s stress)
A lot of good workers out there have been pushed to their limits already, and now they are being pushed for even more. Growth! It’s bullshit! Every boss is pushing every manager to try and eek out that little bit more blood. Because they’ve looked at the sums and seen that the biggest cost to any business is their employees. It’s not a fucking cost you arrogant greedy twats! Humans are an investment you tossers! Humans work for you to make your shit, they work for you to advertise and sell your shit, and we buy your shit! That’s the economy you made for us. And now you want us to make the shit for less? But then how will we afford to buy your shit? And when the guys selling your shit can’t sell quite so much of it, cos let’s be honest, IT’S SHIT, you lay off some more guys that you don’t need to make you shit, cos less people are buying your shit. As arguments go, Capitalism is easier to beat than religion!
So to end, today, my company pushed the limit of job satisfaction versus remuneration. See that’s my own personal capitalism working. If I am to be a commodity, then I shall determine my worth. How hard the job is, is X. My wages are Y. X is no longer less than Y so they can no longer afford my pride.