As you may know by now, Morrisons is due to move onto Whitstable High Street in the near future, having taken over the premises currently occupied by Cain’s Amusements.
At present the opening date is unclear. However staff training starts on the 25th August, so we can expect the shop to open soon after that, possibly in early September.
Recruitment is currently taking place, with potential staff being referred there by the Job Centre.
This is sad news for the independent retailers of Whitstable who will certainly be threatened by the existence of yet another chain on our High Street.
It is also dire news for the unemployed as the much hyped jobs on offer will be at the minimum wage.
What’s worse, most of the jobs appear to be a variation on the zero hours contract, where people have to sit at home waiting for a phone call to see if there is work for them or not.
In the case of Morrisons, staff will be part time but exclusive: that is, they are only being offered 8 hours a week over two shifts, but on contracts containing an exclusivity clause, meaning that they won’t be allowed to work for anyone else for at least 12 months.
The rest of the time they will be sitting at home, like zero hours workers, waiting for that phone call.
The trick is that, while compliant staff will almost certainly get more hours – who can possibly survive on £52 a week before stoppages? – holiday pay will only be for the 8 hours contracted, and Morrisons won’t have to pay National Insurance contributions.
People on Job Seekers Allowance are being threatened that, if they refuse to take the post, the Job Centre will be informed, and sanctions will follow.
Such is the nature of work in 21st century Britain. The expression “slave labour” springs to mind.
So the next time you hear politicians talking about “the Recovery” and the number of jobs being created, remember this: What they are referring to is the recovery of profits, not income, and the jobs on offer are trash.