Saturday, 10 December 2011

Unilever strike

Eclipsed in the news by Lord Snooty's Churchillian 'we'll stand alone and fight them on the trading floors and in the city wine bars' moment - there's a breaking story that is a telling slice of real life in contemporary fucked-up Britain:

At Unilver's Gloucester plant 2,500 workers went on strike yesterday over their pensions. These weren't the 'pampered' public sector scroungers who we are told are now the enemy within. These are workers in that paragon of all Tory values - a profitable private business. Profitable to the extent that unlike many well known brands these days, business is actually booming for the nation's leading supplier of grocery products with profits last year of £6.5 billion. No wonder the chief exec trousered a package of over £3million.

So just why are Unilever trying now to get rid of their final salary pension scheme ? The only answer is because they think they can. Capitalism is a rapacious beast at the best of times - and in the midst of a depression it is savage. And the supposed Quaker antecedents of the firm and its heritage of ethical business is  whimsical bollocks. Just as it was at Cadburys a couple of years ago.

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