Fair Pay!

Fair Pay!

The press are full of stories about Google looking to reduce the pay of those who continue to work from home as the public health restrictions are lifted. This is unjust; if there’s one lesson learnt during the pandemic it’s that essential workers are under paid, but the idea of the world’s most profitable companies trying to restore/boost their profitability by reducing the wages of their workers is, while not unexpected, pretty appalling. In the UK, this may open an employer to equal pay suits.

Google claims to be a global talent company and it would surprise me if they don’t pay the market rate for the job wherever! I know that Sun Microsystems, in its last few years came to the view that the talent market was global and set up HQ offices around the world with Labs in Grenoble and St. Petersburg and a location in India. It bit them the arse when they came to close the offices, French redundancy consultation laws are a bitch … we could do with some laws like that. (In fact a game I played with my US managers and peers, was asking which country in Europe is it hardest to fire people in, and they all thought it was Germany. The answer was in fact Italy, where the comrades went on unofficial strike. Germany was 4th, after Italy, France and the Netherlands.)

Marxists argue that employers will seek to pay the minimum wage with crudely speaking a floor of the replacement cost of the labour; they also argue that all the value is created by the labour and that it’s the appropriation of surplus value is the driver of the class struggle. Classicists argue that now that labour has transformed from animal effort, there is a supply and demand for skills and experience and there is an equilibrium grate of wages. I suppose the cost to commute vs the born cost of provisioning the workplace are factors in determining replacement cost and/or the supply curve, but they are also part of a 21st century trend of dumping cost elsewhere. Let’s note that when employees work from home, Management save the cost of office space.  Here the employer is seeking to reduce wages by clawing back the employee’s travel to work costs and also make savings by reducing its office costs.

You need a Union, see also Less money for working from home? at GMB London General X58 Branch …

On proscriptions

Before the NEC meeting at which it agreed to proscribe four organisations, a group of their members issued a statement.

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Tyranny

Tyranny

The Labour Party only has three rules.

C1.X.5 which say the NEC has final interpretation of the rules

C1.VIII.3.A which says the NEC can do what it wants to enforce the rules

C1.VII.1.C.ii which says the GS can assume delegated powers from the NEC and pass them on.

This is Tyranny. …

Labour’s new disciplinary processes

judges gavel

An article by Martin Thomas, based on an interview by me on Labour’s response to the EHRC report and new disciplinary processes. I say, an interesting use of the word independent, and a destruction of the principle of an independent appeal. The investment of yet more powers in a clearly factional and incompetent General Secretary is also in my opinion a mistake. See also Labour and antisemitism, some thoughts which has stood the test of time well. …

Community creates value

Community creates value

Cory Doctorow comments on Games Workshop’s latest legal initiative against its fans, I chose some quotes from the article, including the allegation that they behave like sociopaths and created their IP in exactly the way they're pursuing others for. I conclude with, the probably not original statement, "Open source campaigners have always argued that community creates value, here's another battleground where it will be tested.".

Labour’s lost millions?

But this is unfortunate timing … As the FT reports on the Tories foreign funding, FT reports on the Tories billionaire foreign funding (£), and the Guardian reports on Labour’s righteous attack where Annaliese Dodds is put up to make this point on the day that the Times, runs the story (£) , another unfortunate leak, for which we will have no leak enquiry, that Labour is doing the same.

This is a multi-million pound problem, rich donors cannot solve this problem, even if was desirable. Labour needs £2.7m per month to cover its running costs. Sorry about the paywalled articles. …

Labour’s money, where’s it gone?

Labour’s money, where’s it gone?

The Labour Party has launched a redundancy programme which may or may not be linked with plans to consolidate English based staff into three English hubs. It’s doing this because it’s short of money reportedly down to one month’s reserves. In Dec 2019, it had reserves of £16 million. How did it move from the richest party in the country to this? The short answer is that it’s lost a lot of members and lost a lot of “Short” money. The rest of this blog article looks at why it's now short of money.

Shenanigans at London Labour 2021

Shenanigans at London Labour 2021

At London Labour Conference, the staff used a number of tricks to ‘control’ the zoom meeting. They closed the meeting early having failed to silence Katheryn Johnson, the outgoing Chair of the CAC and they also excluded Craig for asking questions about expulsions and the Forde Enquiry and there are rumours that they chucked out some delegates for ‘inappropriate’ background images by which I mean ones with the slogans ‘reinstate Jeremy Corbyn’ and “where’s the Forde Inquiry”. I am also concerned that not all people present in the meeting were validly nominated delegates and know that we were one delegate short as they had made a mistake, again, in calculating our delegate entitlement. During the first day, the Chair, failed to ask the mover of our motion to speak in summing up, and then proposed to move to the card vote. I was concerned that this would stand and tried to move a point of order; this was not possible. This is not the first time that London Region have used control of the meeting to ensure that meetings avoid taking decisions they don’t want taken. The rest of this blog looks at four of Labour’s Rules which have probably been broken.

Rule C9B.IV.9 Procedure at Regional Conference shall as far as practicable be informed by the Standing Orders agreed at the last session of Annual Conference.

The standing orders agreed at the last session of Annual Conference are in Chapter 17 and so the following two rules apply.

Rule C17 I.2.N.i Any breach of or question to the rules or standing orders may be raised by a member rising to a point of order.

It was not possible to raise points of order.

Rule C17.I.2.O.ii Any member acting in an unruly or disruptive manner, in contravention of the standing orders, may be removed from the meeting by action of the chair. The chair shall put such a motion to the meeting, which to be carried shall require the support of two-thirds of those present and voting.

People were excluded other than via this procedure.

C2.II.8 Members have the right to dignity and respect, and to be treated fairly by the Labour Party. Party officers at every level shall exercise their powers in good faith and use their best endeavours to ensure procedural fairness for members. …

Natural Justice

After the proscriptions decision by Labour’s NEC, I had a quick look at the Report of the Charkrabarti Inquiry again, as she was very firm on natural justice.

Another matter which has been brought to my attention is the frequency of resort to the power of interim suspension in cases where an allegation that a member has acted in breach of the rules is before the General Secretary and/or his staff. Indeed, an early lesson that any new General Counsel might offer his/her colleagues is on the application of the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality.

Shami Chakrabarti (Page 18)

She considered conforming to the principles of natural justice so important that she proposed to write conforming to them into the rules. Another shame that this was not implemented.  …