This is a letter that appeared in last weeks The Socialist. Part of the reason why I'm posting it is that it gives me the opportunity to plug The Activist (blog of Socialist Party members in USDAW - see links) and the new Robbie Segal for General Secretary blog www.robbiesegal.blogspot.com - the articles on both a pretty good.
I haven't been in my job all that long, but you can feel the discontent amongst the people I work with. Their main complaint is understaffing – there are never enough people working to do the job properly – which stresses us all out. In my department we cook and serve food, and the company has not too long ago launched a big drive on food hygiene. The problem being that all this training is rendered meaningless by the understaffing which means we can’t properly carry out all we’ve learnt. The company say that the understaffing is due to their high staff turnover, but of course this is the case when they only pay us the pitiful minimum wage and expect us to do so much. That said, even if they had more staff, we’d still be understaffed as that way they can squeeze more profit out of us.
Instead, what we need is the nationalisation of the major supermarket chains under the control of the workers so we can implement humane working conditions with a better wage that would benefit staff and customers alike.