Roger Daltrey isn’t happy with the way Brexit is panning out.
The Who singer has co-signed a letter accusing the Government of “shamefully failing” British musicians now they need visas to tour Europe.
Which is a bit of a U-turn for pro-Brexiteer Daltrey who shot down Remainers a few years ago by saying “as if we didn’t tour Europe before the f***ing EU”. Let’s hope he won’t get fooled again.
Scottish fishermen are incandescent at the post-Brexit decimation of their industry, yet more than 90% of them voted Leave. Ah well, they won’t be the last workers to be done up like a kipper.
Listen to the noises from certain Tories demanding action on the real point of Brexit: Turning the UK into a low-regulation economy where workers’ rights are slashed and cowboy capitalists are encouraged to set up sweatshops. It’s called making Britain the Singapore of Europe and sadly we’re already heading Eastwards.
There are plenty of firms, some providing vital services, run by get-rich-quick boards, who believe they only exist to make dramatic profit rises every year. And if they don’t, they blame their workers, and make them pay.
If you want a taste of things to come, look at what’s happening at British Gas. Despite its owners making a £901million profit in 2019 and seeing its UK home-heating business rise by 27% in the first half of 2020, they’ve decided to make more profit by ensuring loyal workers have a worse life.
They’re ripping up engineers’ current contracts and forcing them to sign fresh ones, on much worse terms, or find a new job. These are the same engineers recently applauded by bosses for risking their lives by working in customers’ homes through the pandemic, and volunteering to deliver NHS equipment or help out in foodbanks while proudly wearing British Gas uniforms.
A spokeswoman for British Gas parent firm Centrica said “the majority of employees” had accepted the plan which would “protect thousands of jobs”
But the bullying “fire and re-hire” policy has so disgusted 7,000 GMB members they have held a wave of strikes with one getting in touch to tell me why.
“They want us to do an extra 156 hours every year for no pay, to work unlimited weekends and unlimited late shifts, take a cut in holiday leave, accept a three-year pay freeze and allow them to rewrite our contracts with just 28 days’ notice and no negotiation.”
He says workers agreed two years ago to help the company out by taking vastly inferior pensions, but that only appears to have made the sharks in charge smell blood and go for the kill.
“Most of us would accept a pay freeze but if we worked all these extra hours at evenings and weekends, when would we see our families? It’s unacceptable,” he said.
And all so the company’s latest CEO earns himself a whopping bonus, a scalp and a stepping stone to an even better-paid job.
If you see these engineers on strike, support them. If you’re a British Gas customer, threaten them with leaving.
And if you still have a job, then be warned, that in this brave new world, you could be next.