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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 29th Sep 11, 3:48 PM
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    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: 900,000 to get minimum pay rise
    • #1
    • 29th Sep 11, 3:48 PM
    MSE News: 900,000 to get minimum pay rise 29th Sep 11 at 3:48 PM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    " 900,000 workers will get a pay rise when the minimum wage breaks through the 6-an-hour barrier this weekend ..."

    Last edited by Former MSE Helen; 29-09-2011 at 5:20 PM.
Page 1
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 29th Sep 11, 6:37 PM
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    gadgetmind
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 11, 6:37 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 11, 6:37 PM
    Right, that's it, I'm going to start investing in companies that create robots that can perform unskilled manual work.

    Even with the low wages paid to low skilled Chinese workers, robots are making sense.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21525432

    What chance do those in the UK who've managed to emerge from education with zero skills stand?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 29th Sep 11, 8:21 PM
    • 38,040 Posts
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    getmore4less
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 11, 8:21 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 11, 8:21 PM
    Right, that's it, I'm going to start investing in companies that create robots that can perform unskilled manual work.

    Even with the low wages paid to low skilled Chinese workers, robots are making sense.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21525432

    What chance do those in the UK who've managed to emerge from education with zero skills stand?
    Originally posted by gadgetmind
    Thats a fare few with degrees.
    • acswales
    • By acswales 30th Sep 11, 12:34 AM
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    acswales
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 11, 12:34 AM
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 11, 12:34 AM
    Why does the over-21s rate go up more percentage-wise than the under-21s and under-18s (2.5% vs 1.2/1.1%)? Are prices increasing less for younger people? I think not. Ridiculous system!
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 6:59 AM
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    gadgetmind
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 11, 6:59 AM
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 11, 6:59 AM
    Thats a fare few with degrees.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    As someone who interviews a whole load of grads, I'm forced to agree!

    OTOH, those who do make the grade are often *stunningly* bright, which warms the cockles of ones cynical old heart.
    • Glitzer
    • By Glitzer 30th Sep 11, 7:36 AM
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    Glitzer
    • #6
    • 30th Sep 11, 7:36 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Sep 11, 7:36 AM
    I had no idea the minimum wage was increasing until I came on here this morning, though mind you my DH has only been in a minimum wage job for 3 months.

    Anyhow, my concern would be how this is going to affect what little HB we get.
  • 2sides2everystory
    • #7
    • 30th Sep 11, 12:14 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Sep 11, 12:14 PM
    These rates are all disgracefully low. They are disrespectful of the labour market in the UK. A 15 year old working for a British small business in Europe waiting at table earns more than an adult in the UK.

    These UK rates reflect nothing but the greed of Horrible Bosses and the elitism of members of the political party that most closely represents them.
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 30-09-2011 at 12:18 PM.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 12:38 PM
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    • #8
    • 30th Sep 11, 12:38 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 11, 12:38 PM
    earns more than an adult in the UK.
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    Surely you mean they earn more than the tiny percentage of UK adults who earn minimum wage?

    See section 2.4 here -
    http://www.lowpay.gov.uk/lowpay/report/pdf/Revised_Report_PDF_with_April_date.PDF

    http://!!!!!!!.com/627ozk5

    Only around 4% of jobs are at minimum wage, and most of these are part-time, temporary, or held for less than a year. Figure 2.1 is interesting in that it shows the *huge* imbalance between the number on minimum wage in the private sector versus the public sector.

    Figure 2.5 shows how the young, the unqualified, migrant workers, and a few other groups are over-represented in the dataset, so the proportion of adults on minimum wage is even lower than that 4%.

    This is confirmed in para 2.28, which suggests a figure of only 2.5% of adult workers are on minimum wage.
  • 2sides2everystory
    • #9
    • 30th Sep 11, 2:27 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Sep 11, 2:27 PM
    gadgetmind, we are both intelligent accomplished people but are quite distant politically largely perhaps because of the levels of wealth we have or have not accumulated whilst playing the game as later model baby-boomers and the company we have kept in the workplace.

    For example, whilst I am sure we all empathise greatly with the reason behind your critical illness thread (many of us have been there to various degrees) it was quite an eye opener reading words which described the pedestal upon which you most contentedly sit comparing six figure annual incomes and playing with your various retirement options.

    Arguing semantics about a statistic that implies only 4% of the working population has to endure minimum wage and moreover suggesting that the jobs that it applies to somehow do not count for much is, forgive me for daring to say so, implying some degree of ignorance of what is being played out in the other world which you clearly do not inhabit.

    Have you lately caught a nightbus at four in the morning and seen the shuffling silent army of the low paid who inhabit the streets of our cities day in day out at that hour on their way to and from second jobs at minimum wage? Grabbing ten minutes of sleep here and there from pure exhaustion and general dehydration in bus shelters whilst waiting for their bus? Why is the Ryanair stewardess regularly at the Stansted busstop at that time of the morning doing her make-up on the run? Why do they need to be there? Why do we need them to be there? How much do the equally silent caged-in bus drivers get paid for keeping the same unearthly hours whilst navigating their 18 tonne machine through the cones and humps and the city bustle? Does he have a toilet behind immediately his cockpit and someone to bring him a sandwich and a coffee? Is his wage about 4% of what a British Airways captain gets paid or is it nearer 8%? Is it more or less than the lady who did the voice recordings of "the next stop is Plaistow Grove"? Does a Go-Ahead bus driver have a go-ahead pension or the merest shadow of one? What happens if all that lack of going for a pee and/or lack of hydration takes its toll and means at age 35 the kidneys are shot and the bladder and prostate (if there is one) is constantly under duress? Are these real jobs or just dangerous exploits for money?

    As a more fortunate moneysaver who doesn't like paying BAA car park prices at 9 per day I frequently see these people when I use the buses early in the morning to reach the airport instead. Do you imagine these are workers who have critical illness policies or even pensions worthy of the name? No, if they are over 21 they have "jobs" at around 6 - 9 per hour with just a 30 minute break all day (or night) and have to pay busfares at a minimum 1.30 a pop (2.60 if they have to change buses). 6 each way I imagine with an airport-workers pass for the Stansted bus.

    These workers don't get access to free drinks at work or even anytime access to toilet facilities. They have to mind their Ps and Qs constantly because there is no union worth its salt in the UK truly interested in protecting their individual rights. They are often on extended probation, without timely written contracts, and they are often dumped when they start costing more e.g. when an 20 year old becomes 21, or when they start asking questions like Oliver.

    I am interested in what you might deduce by highlighting "the young, the unqualified, migrant workers, and a few other groups are over-represented in the dataset" ? Migrant workers for example are now a permanent feature of the landscape across the entire UK. Their presence is almost single-handedly the main cause of depressed wages and working conditions in the UK. Do you shop in Asda in a big city? Had you noticed that English is not the main language spoken in the aisles?

    I think your figure 2.5 actually shows that ALL those minority groups are exploited and what the report does not of course show is which groups amongst the co-workers are doing well from the exploitation. Why the authors of the paper chose for that Figure 2.5 persons aged 65+ and did not include the entire age range especially a more meaningful 40+ or 50+ I have no idea.

    Do you use bank branches which count among their front-line staff Russian immigrants, or Latvian or Lithuanian immigrants, or Nigerian immigrants? Do you think their presence is conducive to UK employer respect for the labour market in the UK generally, either to them as employees or to the struggling minimum wage customers they serve with their own hungry idea of what is fair and what is not in customer service standards?

    Westfield shopping centre just opened in East London. What proportion of all those new shop assistant jobs is at minimum wage? Is it just 8%? Somehow I doubt that.

    What has become of the last minute surge army of construction workers that were crawling over Westfield in the last few weeks before opening like a cross between bees and ants before opening? Could they really afford the Burger King Whopper Meals that they regularly took in their half hour lunch breaks? I doubt it. Were they earning minimum wage type salaries? Were labour-gangers taking a cut?

    Those were not real jobs. They were casual labour and I would bet many of them now have no work right now. They probably live from one rush job to the next. I fear too that a large proportion of retail labour employed at Westfield is on minimum wage looking at the ages and demeanour of those on exhibit, and all this in a London 2012 Olympics borough that already has for 3 years employed more migrant labour than any other in regard to the extra work that project created right from Australians who run large parts of the show to Albanians who drive construction equipment for 10 hours a day 7 days a week.

    The report you point to has political bias and because it uses questionable 2007 methodology it may already be much further out of date than the 18 month old early 2010 data it purports to illustrate.

    I say again, these minimum national wage rates are disgracefully low.

    What is more, they are a permanent and prevailing feature in Job Centres up and down the land and we know that the percentage of available for work population using those is also a significant percentage between 3% and some unadmitted figure.
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 30-09-2011 at 2:48 PM.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 3:02 PM
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    gadgetmind
    gadgetmind, we are both intelligent accomplished people but are quite distant politically largely perhaps because of the levels of wealth we have or have not accumulated whilst playing the game as baby-boomers
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    I don't fit the usual definition of baby boomer nor am I much of a political person.

    Arguing semantics about a statistic that implies only 4% of the working population has to endure minimum wage
    I supplied the statistics to show that minimum wage is very much not the norm, particularly for adults.

    Are these real jobs
    Yes, and I'm sure that most earn well more than minimum wage.

    Migrant workers for example are now a permanent feature of the landscape across the entire UK. Their presence is almost single-handedly the main cause of depressed wages and working conditions in the UK.
    People will always move to where the jobs and money are, and long before we had money, mankind moved around the planet to where the conditions were more favourable. I would not seek to prevent such free movement.

    Why the authors of the paper chose for that Figure 2.5 persons aged 65+ and did not include the entire age range especially a more meaningful 40+ or 50+ I have no idea.
    I too would have liked to see a better breakdown.

    Do you use bank branches which count among their front-line staff Russian immigrants, or Latvian or Lithuanian immigrants, or Nigerian immigrants?
    I have no recollection of when I last visited a bank branch and I didn't check any passports. Are such front line staff really on minimum wage? I doubt it.

    Could they really afford the Burger King Whopper Meals that they regularly took in their half hour lunch breaks? I doubt it. Were they earning minimum wage type salaries? Were labour-gangers taking a cut?
    Why are you asking me? If I were to guess, I'd go for, probably, probably not, and unlikely.

    I say again, these minimum national wage rates are disgracefully low.
    I respect your right to think that.

    By the way, your message was right on the giddy edge of TL : DR, and I respectfully suggest you aim for concise clarity as this isn't a political essay writing competition!
    Last edited by gadgetmind; 30-09-2011 at 4:16 PM.
  • 2sides2everystory
    I don't fit the usual definition of baby boomer nor am I much of a political person.
    Originally posted by gadgetmind
    Indeed, me neither perhaps, and I don't really do politics either except my outpourings on MSE and when I have been singled out in the workplace and might be tested sorely when standing up for rights versus wrongs.
    I supplied the statistics to show that minimum wage is very much not the norm, particularly for adults.
    ....Yes, and I'm sure that most earn well more than minimum wage.
    I know, and think we may have to agree to differ.
    People will always move to where the jobs and money are, and long before we had money, mankind moved around the planet to where the conditions were more favourable. I would not seek to prevent such free movement.
    Simplisticly you are correct in your assertion and in the sentiment expressed but who is managing the opportunistic excesses created by these "freedoms"? We cannot rely on infinitely insignifant and unconnected scales associated with a million head of roaming buffalo under the sun in one cornmer of the globe versus the habitually returning whales off Innuit shores every year, or the well-being of hairy Mammoths grazing in the Alps to protect our economies any longer.

    We see now how our wealth can be stolen by opportunists in minutes not millennia.
    I too would have liked to see a better breakdown.
    It kind of shows that the whole paper is skewed to a point of view doesn't it?
    I have no recollection of when I last visited a bank branch and I didn't check any passports. Are such front line staff really on minimum wage? I doubt it.
    Well if you are well in control of your money and you have plenty there is really no reason to be in a bank branch except to prove your identity for some new arrangement. You are right, they are not on minimum wage, but they are on much lower wages than adult shelfstackers in parts of Europe. And you will not see them drinking regularly or taking proper breaks. As for passports sometimes a pleasant conversation and a bit of inside knowledge is enough to discover these things. However, one thing is for sure and that is the footfall that ends up at their till or desk in the banking hall is largely low paid. It is the low paid that have the biggest problems and who are given the shortest shrift
    Why are you asking me? If I were to guess, I'd go for, probably, probably not, and unlikely.
    I was asking because again I am concerned about your view of the world of the typical worker in the UK and what is the lowest wage to which many regularly will stoop.

    You will admit no doubt to seeing tail to tail white vans in the fast lanes of motorways at the beginnings and ends of each day? These are perhaps not so much delivery vans as in the delivery of any product but are the human transports or at best the workhorses of construction workers and labour-gangers. Many of them exhibit three abreast in the front. You can't see what or who is in the back.

    TL : DR
    But you did read it, this too I'll bet
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 30-09-2011 at 4:04 PM.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 4:15 PM
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    gadgetmind
    You will admit no doubt to seeing tail to tail white vans in the fast lanes of motorways at the beginnings and ends of each day?
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    As with banks (and Asda and other supermarkets FWIW) I'm afraid that I'm far from a regular motorway user, or even car driver, but the vast majority of white vans I pass on my bicycle seem to only have 1-2 occupants.

    It kind of shows that the whole paper is skewed to a point of view doesn't it?
    As I'm not sure what point of view you think it might be skewed towards, I find it hard to agree.

    But you did read it, this too I'll bet
    I felt it only polite.
  • CapJ
    I know, and think we may have to agree to differ.
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    You may differ all you like but I think gadgetmind has posted pretty good evidence that only 4% of the population is on the minimum wage.

    Still only represents a large chunk of people. I wonder how many will be losing their jobs due to this rise? It is a tragedy.
  • 2sides2everystory
    Gadgetmind lives and works in an ivory tower - he as good as says so.

    The rise is a tragedy?? ... an extra 4p an hour for 16 and 17 year olds working in SportsDirect.com ?

    What on earth are you trying to sell here?
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 30-09-2011 at 6:44 PM.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 6:46 PM
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    gadgetmind
    Gadgetmind lives and works in an ivory tower
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    I have worked 48 hour weeks (PLUS overtime) on catering industry minimum wage and have the pay packets to prove it. Do you?
    Last edited by gadgetmind; 30-09-2011 at 6:48 PM.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 6:48 PM
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    gadgetmind
    I think gadgetmind has posted pretty good evidence that only 4% of the population is on the minimum wage.
    Originally posted by CapJ
    And only 2.5% of adults. In other words, 97.5% of adults have the skills to let them earn more than the minimum wage.

    Rather than concentrating on the level of minimum wage, why don't we concentrate on how to let people skill-up and earn more?
  • 2sides2everystory
    I have worked 48 hour weeks (PLUS overtime) on catering industry minimum wage and have the pay packets to prove it. Do you?
    Originally posted by gadgetmind
    No, my first low pay experience was at the agricultural minimum for a while and 60 and 70 hour weeks a bit like the hours I suspect those I see at four in the morning catching buses are doing. I know their tiredness. I have other low pay experiences in three completely different industries with payslips to prove those too ... unfortunately for me they have been in the latter part of my working life and as for your throwaway word "upskilling" I do not think you have a clue what you mean unless you are referring to ESoL and Microsoft Office courses for migrants to help them go from 6 to 9 per hour in this disgustingly exploitative major developed economy labour market.
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 30-09-2011 at 6:57 PM.
    • scooby088
    • By scooby088 30th Sep 11, 7:01 PM
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    scooby088
    How many jobs which traditionally pay more than minimum wage will now be set at the new rate?
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Sep 11, 8:03 PM
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    gadgetmind
    as for your throwaway word "upskilling" I do not think you have a clue what you mean
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    You may not, but I do. That's because I've been there, done that, and have the t-shirt.

    unfortunately for me they have been in the latter part of my working life
    Fortunately they were for me (as for most people) in the early part of my working life, which gave me the insight and drive to upskill and change my value.

    unless you are referring to ESoL and Microsoft Office courses
    Nope, far from it.
    Last edited by gadgetmind; 30-09-2011 at 8:06 PM.
  • CapJ
    And only 2.5% of adults. In other words, 97.5% of adults have the skills to let them earn more than the minimum wage.

    Rather than concentrating on the level of minimum wage, why don't we concentrate on how to let people skill-up and earn more?
    Originally posted by gadgetmind
    Because it is much easier to ignore evidence and call for the minimum wage to go up than it is to actually solve the problem.
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