Employer makes employees fund rise in minimum wage
am writing on behalf of a friend and her colleagues, a lot
of whom work less than 21 hours per week and all of whom
work part time, for the same company, Wyedean Wholefoods,
who have shops in the Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Monmouth,
Evesham, Chepstow and Ross on Wye.
local employer encouraged staff at their chain of shops
to undertake training courses and verbally agreed to pay
an extra 10 pence per hour to those who were certified to
have passed the courses. Most undertook 2 courses and were
receiving an extra 20 pence per hour over and above the
minimum wage of £5.35. With the increase, from October 1st,
in the minimum wage to £5.52 the employer has, without any
consultation, stopped paying the extra 20 pence per hour
they had been paying for the last 2 years or more, so that
the employee has ended up funding the increase in the minimum
wage. I wonder if the employer is within his rights to do
this and if not, what action can the employees take to challenge
this action? I would hope that at the very least, the staff,
who have undertaken training to further their careers and
improve their ability to provide valuable and free customer
service, will now withdraw the advice they have generally
given to the public until such time as their employer shows
the respect and value that they deserve. Many employees
who have worked for over 4 years for the company are still
on minimum wage and none of the shops have any appointed
manager, the burden of the day to day running and organisation
of the shops being spread amongst the minimum wage employees.
situation is not without irony and humour as I understand
that the Directors of the Company are Baptist Ministers.
I cannot help but wonder what Jesus Christ would think of
such uncharitable actions. Stories of conditions and treatment
of employees in the business are more redolent of a tale
from Charles Dickens rather than 21st Century Britain.
and address supplied
a regular reader, currently in Singapore and Thailand
Alan & Tina,
am reading the Wyenot News, as I do every week but over
the last six weeks I have been reading it in mainly Singapore,
also for seven days on an island in Thailand called Krabi.
I don't think this will be the name chosen by anybody who
knew the English language as it is a very nice holiday resort,
it has a very nice very long beach with reasonable sized
waves for body surfing and such. Then there is quite a long
sea front road with shops and quite a mixed load of restaurants
on it, they even have a McDonalds and a KFC is close to
restaurants seem to cover every style of food that anybody
could want. As I don't like foreign food I stuck to things
such as basic sandwiches with French fries or such as burgers.
Not healthy I know but at 73 years old I am reluctant to
start experimenting, I eat with my health in mind when in
England like nice beef stews and cockney pie mash and liqueur
when we visit relatives in London.
were a bit unlucky as three of our days have been spoilt
quite a bit with downpours of rain, the pavements are not
to level so I am afraid everybody ends up with soaked feet.
I was brave one evening and had a beef steak, with French
fries and a salad, I know a beef steak is English sort of
thing but I have found in the past that abroad they seem
to use different cooking oils etc.
were in Kho Samui a few years ago and I thought I would
have a basic tomato soup. Okay, so it came with the quantans
or whatever, so I had to fish them out. The next day in
the same open air restaurant I said to the lady serving
m, 'I just want tomato soup...I don't want wine ...quantens
or anything else in it'. It took some time to get my soup
which was two tomatoes cut up and boiled in water. I ate
it as though and it was exactly what I wanted.
rain did have a direct effect on one of my nights out with
my son in law, we were in what one might call a girlie bar
playing pool. The six young ladies on the staff did tend
to touch you when they passed. I asked the one who seemed
to have picked on me how old she was, she gave me a big
smile whilst her hand was on my tummy and said 23 years.
I spoke very slowly to make sure she understood what I said
and told her I have a granddaughter older than you, I must
say it did seem to put her off touching my belly . We ended
up playing pool against two of the girls and to be social
we let them win a frame. It was only then my son in law
was told that the rules were, if the girls win you have
to buy six of them a drink. Fortunately he did this but
this was the only frame we let them win. It was very hard
to concentrate as their very colourful skirts and tops could
not be called modest. I must add here that these ladies
did not pester us to buy them drinks at any time other than
when we lost the frame of pool.
were really a lot of these bars, all very close together
and none were really busy. The drinks were at reasonable
prices i.e. around two pounds a pint. Here in Singapore
when I frequent a nice bar with a pool table situated on
6th avenue and a pint of lager costs four pounds - and that
is called the happy hour! A pint in some bars or restaurants
over here can cost you double this price.
back to the girlie bar, we were going to leave it at midnight
but suddenly a lovely storm started, no way could we try
to walk all the way back to our apartments, it was 3.30am
before the storm died down. The following evening when having
a meal with or wives before we were going out as we were
allowed to every evening, I said to my son in law, 'Can
you see those black clouds? It certainly looks like rain'.
My wife and daughter said in unison, 'Yes but look we have
brought two umbrellas for you.'
I went into one of the many internet cafes in Krabi island
to read your news and also to communicate with my four daughters
back in England, the eldest was with us. They only charged
40p for an hour's use of a computer or 1p a minute for shorter
sessions, I noticed an internet place here in a Singapore
shopping centre that was charging one pound an hour. Then
internet rental places on the Krabi sea front all had plenty
of computers. The one I used together with my grandson had
twenty eight available.
after all that, I was going to ask . . . Do you ever hear
from many people who, like my sister and I were dumped onto
Ross and the surrounding area's as evacuees? We spent five
very happy years in the area. There won't be many years
that my wife and I have not visited Ross during the last
55 - after I got my first car. Yes there have been some
changes but nothing like what has happened to the area of
London we were born in.
I cannot find your letters page on the web site have you
hope my waffling on has not taken to much of your time up.
a regular reader.... Len
you for your letter, Len.
just had a bacon roll for lunch. Very nice it was, too!
I have tried strange food in the past though. My brother
cooked me a camel curry once when I was in Saudi Arabia.
It's on my YouTube
page somewhere (which I no longer update). He bought the
'boneless camel' meat in Safeway, Dhahran and far from giving
me the hump, I quite enjoyed it.
I do happen to know quite a bit about Singapore and Thailand
as my Dad had an office in Singapore for years. The 'Girlie
Bar' sounds interesting but be careful - appearances can
be deceptive. Definitely take an umbrella! Things in Singapore
are not always as they seem, though I am sure you are aware
of this. The 'Crocodile Dundee' test is a sure way to find
I do quite often hear from those who were evacuated to Ross.
'Wyenot News' has reunited many evacuees in the past.
the letters pages. They are
still there but these days, 'Wyenot News' takes up far
too much time for me to update them, so I just publish a
few of the letters I receive in the weekly news.
reading and keep in touch...