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The Conservatives are wrong – having more people in work hasn't reduced poverty | The Independent
Despite propaganda to the contrary, poverty in 21st century Britain is not the consequence of a feckless or work-shy section of the population. It is the consequence of work that does not pay enough and a labour market that is not providing the opportunities that we need it to.
UK  economy  work  employment  pay  wages  poverty  JosephRowntreeFoundation  austerity  welfare  benefits  ToryParty  IFS 
10 days ago by petej
Paul Myerscough · Short Cuts · LRB 3 January 2013
What Pret has understood, and its competitors haven’t (or not yet), is how much money there is to be made from what radical left theorists have been referring to since the 1970s as ‘affective labour’. Work increasingly isn’t, or isn’t only, a matter of producing things, but of supplying your energies, physical and emotional, in the service of others. It isn’t what you make, but how your display of feeling makes others feel. This won’t be news to mothers, nurses and prostitutes, but the massive swelling of the service economy means that emotional availability can no longer be dismissed as women’s work; it must be seen as a dominant commodity form under late capitalism.

And it has to be real. ‘The authenticity of being happy is important,’ a Pret manager tells the Telegraph, ‘customers pick up on that.’ It isn’t clear which is the more demanding, authenticity or performance, being it or faking it, but in either case it’s difficult to believe that there isn’t something demoralising, for Pret workers perhaps more than most in the high street, not only in having their energies siphoned off by customers, but also in having to sustain the tension between the performance of relentless enthusiasm at work and the experience of straitened material circumstances outside it. ‘Henceforth,’ as Carl Cederström and Peter Fleming put it in their recent jeremiad Dead Man Working (Zero, £9.99), ‘our authenticity is no longer a retreat from the mandatory fakeness’ of the workplace, ‘but the very medium through which work squeezes the life out of us’.
Pret  PretAManger  work  labour  jobs  emotionalLabour  affectiveLabour  performance  authenticity  surveillance  monitoring  assessment  coercion  tradeUnions  Pamsu  immigration  pay  wages  UK  dctagged  dc:creator=MyerscoughPaul 
august 2017 by petej
If Corbyn's Labour wants to call itself pro-worker, it must be proudly pro-migrant too
Crammed as it is with union hacks and lefties, you would be forgiven for assuming that the Corbyn project would be thrilled at the thought of workers tackling exploitation head-on — a rising tide that could lift all boats. But it’s chosen instead to bind itself to a confusing middle ground, which “refuses to scapegoat migrants” openly, but will also blithely normalise the rhetoric of right-wingers who aren’t held back by similar hangups. Strategy wonks in the Labour Party, always at the mercy of ‘public opinion’, are haunted by the spectres of the Brexit vote, fearful of combatting an insidious common sense that uncontrolled migration is a menace.

The irony is that strategically recruiting anti-migrant rhetoric isn’t a guarantee of electoral success, but a high road to nowhere. In the grand game of migrant-bashing, Labour is simply outclassed by UKIP and the Tories, neither of whom depend for their existence on retaining the good will of multi-ethnic, metropolitan city centres amongst whom this brand of crypto-UKIPpery goes down about as well as does a rousing chorus of left-wing anthem the internationale in a Young Conservatives port & policy evening.

Enough of this craven, milquetoast electioneering. Labour has not previously shied away from challenging the received wisdoms of the Tory administration; that austerity is necessary, that privatisation injects efficiency into a bloated public. It must do so again with the migration question, re-entering the debate not on the exploited migrants, but on policymakers and employers who permit this exploitation. If the Labour party wants to call itself pro-worker, it must also be brave enough to call itself pro-migrant too.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  immigration  migration  freedomOfMovement  manifesto  EU  trade  TTIP  employers  pay  wages  tradeUnions  Brexit  dctagged  dc:creator=PennyEleanor  TheLeft 
july 2017 by petej
Corbyn Is Wrong to Indulge Migration Myths – Free Movement Must Be Defended | Novara Media
Borders are a human construct that have slowly been dismantled through a reciprocal arrangement within Europe – it seems clear to me that giving up on freedom of movement is a clear backwards step for anyone who calls themselves progressive. In future I’d like to see a bit more honesty in the debate about freedom of movement. For a start that should mean restating that freedom of movement has had an overall positive impact to our economy and our society – and that the option to retain it does exist, even if some are choosing not to take it. I’d also like to see the left repeatedly say that it is bad bosses and government policy which cause wages to stagnate and rights to deteriorate, not people coming from other countries to find work.
UK  EU  Brexit  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  immigration  jobs  employment  welfare  tradeUnions  pay  wages  borders  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=LucasCaroline  freedomOfMovement 
july 2017 by petej
LENIN'S TOMB: Labour and immigration
The debate about migrant labour is structured around the red herring of whether 'free movement' undercuts UK-born workers in terms of employment and wages. Even if there were significant evidence of it doing so, it would be a red herring, since the grammar of the question is wrong. There is no abstract 'free movement', only the freedom of movement within a given economic and policy context. You can have free movement on a neoliberal and racist-exclusionary basis -- which, indeed, is part of a system which does disadvantage UK-born workers as well as migrant workers -- or you can have free movement on a socialist, or at least social-democratic, basis.
UK  politics  LabourParty  immigration  EU  freedomOfMovement  SchengenAgreement  London  employment  pay  wages  exploitation  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard 
july 2017 by petej
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