Socialist Worker

Desperate Tories fix figures as yet more retail jobs disappear

The government claims those out of work are “lazy”—but its workfare schemes make it harder to find paid jobs, writes Siân Ruddick

Published Tue 22 Jan 2013
Issue No. 2337


Film rental company Blockbuster is the latest firm to go into administration, putting around 900 jobs at risk.

The news comes just one week after administrators moved in at HMV and Jessops, and threats of redundancies at Honda.

Workers face an uncertain future as it isn’t yet clear how many jobs will go. But some have wasted no time in fighting back.

HMV workers in Cork, Limerick and Dublin in Ireland occupied HMV stores after the company went bust last week.

The action forced receivers Deloitte to write to workers, promising to pay the wages they were owed.

Emer Walsh from Limerick HMV said, “It was through us doing the sit-in that we got this letter. Now we are thrilled that 300 people are going to be paid in full.”

Elsewhere workers are being kept in the dark.

One HMV worker told Socialist Worker, “We don’t know what’s happening.

“They’ve got security in from the administrators—they even took apart my lunchbox and searched it!”

The job cuts give the lie to the Tory myth that people don’t have jobs because they don’t want to work.

Its the bosses who are driving up unemployment by throwing people on the dole—not “lazy” workers.

The Tories want people to think there are plenty of jobs out there. So they are trying to cover up the true scale of unemployment.

The government claimed last week that 500,000 jobs had been “created” over the past year.

But more than a fifth of these aren’t jobs at all.

The Office for National Statistics showed that 105,000 were unpaid “workfare” placements.

The Department for Work and Pensions even counted as “employed” people who went to a job-hunt workshop, run by the department itself.

The Tories say workfare helps people into work.

In reality it gives bosses free labour so they don’t have to take on paid workers.


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News
Tue 22 Jan 2013, 17:05 GMT
Issue No. 2337
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