Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/907/23068
From The Socialist newspaper, 22 June 2016
BHS pensions insult
BHS in Leeds, photo Mtaylor848 (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Caroline Vincent, retail worker
Some 20,000 members of the BHS pension scheme are concerned to find their pensions from the failed firm are now in the Pension Protection Fund, meaning they will receive less than expected.
Working in retail can be stressful and demanding, so won't someone spare a thought for Sir Philip Green? Sure, he may be responsible for the collapse of BHS, but at least he's trying to sort out a "better outcome" for the pensions mess he created.
When asked whether members would receive the pensions due, he simply said he'll give it his "best shot." How reassuring!
Like a lot of retail workers, Sir Philip has suffered ill health, even having to go so far as to relocate following a heart scare. Luckily he managed to find a suitable climate to recuperate - sunny Monaco! Any tax benefits are purely incidental.
Many retail staff are the victims of workplace bullying, and Sir Philip will be able to empathise. He feels that he has been hounded and victimised at the hands of MPs, who have been asking him some difficult questions. For instance, just how rich did he make himself while wrecking the livelihoods of some 11,000 BHS workers?
Yes, Sir Philip may be having a hard time at the moment, but at least he can take comfort in the £400 million that he extracted from the company before selling it on for £1. BHS staff and pensioners, on the other hand, face an uncertain future.
The Socialist Party has called for nationalisation as the only way to save both the jobs and the pensions. Business magazine Forbes estimated Sir Philip's net worth as £3.3 billion in 2015 - that should do the trick.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 22 June 2016:
After the EU referendum...get the Tories out!
Left alternative needed to counter austerity, racism and the far right
Merseyside TUSC rally: Standing up for the working class
Stoke TUSC: Exposing the EU Employers' Union
Socialist Party news and analysis
BHS pensions insult
148,000 households faced risk of eviction
Pensions 20x smaller for younger workers
Them & Us
Solidarity to end LGBT-phobia
LGBT liberation and socialism
Socialist Party workplace news
BFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"
Reinstate sacked Samworth Brothers union activist
National Museum Wales strikers ballot on offer
Solid strike against "Britain's worst train company"
Unison local government conference 2016
Convoy to Calais: Outrageous blocking of aid for refugees
International socialist news and analysis
Middle East: Isis under pressure on several fronts
CWI news in brief
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Stay Voiceless: Manics' punk spirit is alive and well
The Socialist inbox
Socialist Party campaigns
Parents in Leeds discuss attacks on education
Pathetic fascist 'demonstration' outnumbered in Bristol
Private company running primary care centre goes bust
The Socialist 22 June 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| PDF | ebook