From Lee Taylor.
IF anyone ever doubted that the majority of States Members are in the habit of placing business first and people second, then the situation regarding the employees of Woolworths should help to dispel the self-peddled myth that our government is the friend of the honest, hard-working employee.
Instead, it comes as no surprise that there are no provisions in place for when redundancies are made or companies collapse. Seeing that much of the time our government slavishly follows UK legislation when it comes to matters of social restriction – we even beat the UK by six months when it came to the smoking ban – and our court sentencing is often much harsher than in the UK, we seem to conveniently lag way behind when it comes to protecting the vulnerable, law-abiding worker.
The consumer act, sale of goods act, minimum wage, statutory paid leave laws and employees’ rights – all these have been around in the UK years before our government (seemingly reluctantly) started to introduce them, albeit often ‘watered down’.
What is our government scared of? That if employees have basic rights then Island businesses will suffer?
The Conservative Party resisted the minimum wage, stating that businesses would suffer and jobs would be lost, yet surprise, surprise, nothing of the sort happened. The only businesses that did suffer were the ones who paid wages that were so low that they undercut decent firms who paid a living wage.
In short, we should have had redundancy and insolvency legislation years ago, and the fact that we don’t gives a clue as to the priorities of our government.
52b Clearview Street,