Tesco: a good company and a responsible employer
Tesco: a good company and responsible employer that sells things people want at prices they can afford.
I was condemned the length and breadth of Twitter and was asked to go on Radio 5 so that I could be condemned there too (unfortunately a boxing match overran, so violence defeated free speech, again).
On the specifics of the “workfare” adverts, Tesco blames the Jobcentre for saying it was a permanent job rather than a short-term work-experience placement. (Although there seems to be more than one such “mistake”.) I suspect that such work-to-welfare schemes are often not administered well by private contractors, and the profits taken by Emma Harrison of A4e, which seems to achieve unimpressive results, do not inspire confidence. No doubt there are also some cases of claimants being treated badly.
But the idea that Tesco is exploiting unpaid “slave labour” is wrong as well as rhetorical. The company makes no money by taking part in schemes like this: they take time to manage.* The only benefit of trying help the young unemployed is that of burnishing the company’s socially-responsible image, and that has been shot to pieces by the sanctimony of a bunch of people on Twitter.
On the general, though, Tesco is a successful company, or was until Terry Leahy stood down last year. Its workers are unionised and paid more than the minimum wage. The inability of the reactionary so-called left to cope with the success of a company whose shops make life better for millions of normal people is baffling.
Image: The Red Eye Portal
*Update: As several correspondents have pointed out, I was overstating for effect. Plainly Tesco thought it gained from the scheme or else it would not have taken part. My point is that the financial gain was minimal when set against management time in administering it. The scheme was close to being more trouble than it was worth, and became more trouble than it was worth, because it damaged the company’s reputation, which is why Tesco changed it.Tagged in: capitalism, margaret thatcher, modernity, tesco, welfare reform
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