Press Watch 21/10/19

Several short stories today tell us much about the state of our country which rarely gets the full media treatment.

But we can admire the Mirror this morning whose splash headline about the treatment of workers by Amazon is as follows: ‘Treated like slaves’

The paper reports that workers at the company’s biggest UK warehouse are accusing bosses at the £730 billion mega corporation of 'modern slavery'.

Micromanaging of every moment of the employees’ days is described as workers reveal that they are driven by management targets because every single minute they are away from their work stations - even when pregnant or injured - is monitored. Statistics show the occurrence of broken bones amid ‘appalling conditions’ (Mirror p5).

Some workers who are trying to form a union claim they have been penalised for it. One worker said: 'It's modern slavery in there.' We at Scarlet Standard salute the courage of these employees and stand with them in their struggle.

Yesterday they obtained support from the Labour Leader. Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: ‘I have a simple message for @amazon and Jeff Bezos: Pay your taxes and respect workers' rights. Change is coming.’

It is worth quoting the Mirror at length:

“Amazon warehouses are the 21st Century’s dark satanic mills, staff in the giant “fulfilment centres” worked so hard they fall asleep, exhausted, in the toilet.

So many employees complain of slave-driver conditions and inhuman targets that the US international corporation’s slick PR excuses are no longer believed.

Complaints from pregnant women and injured workers add to a grim picture of toiling in close to unbearable conditions on low wages in a multi-billion-pound organisation.

If everything was as sweet as Amazon claims, it would not fear trade unions organising the workforce.

So we challenge the company to invite union representatives on to their premises to ask staff if they want to join.”

And so say all of us.

In the meantime, corporate greed knows no limits.

With the demise of Thomas Cook, thousands of staff and holiday makers were left in a very difficult situation.

But there are corporations who benefit even from financial disaster. These are the big accounting companies who audit firms before they go bankrupt and then charge the liquidators fortunes in the aftermath. These corporate auditors win when their client companies are trading and they win again when they go bust.

The Financial Times headline says it all ‘PwC pressed over roles at Thomas Cook’.

The paper reports that PwC has been accused of a conflict of interest for advising senior executives at Thomas Cook on their pay and bonuses while it was the auditor of the now-collapsed travel group.

And here is another story which is captured in two sentences by the Mail “‘£17m a day. That’s the profit Barclays raked in over the summer, yet it’s axing vital post office cash services to save just…£7m a year’.

Press Watch is a look at the day's news by Labour MPs.

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