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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 February 2018

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

  (Click to enlarge)

Adam Viteos, South West Socialist Party

I work in a well-known high street chain and I was promoted a little while ago and thought to myself "finally, things might get a bit easier!" How foolish I was!

First of all, although I've been given a pay rise from 7.55 to 7.85 an hour and more contracted hours my pay has gone down!

The reason for this: while I was previously on a four-hour contract, any hours I worked after that would be at an overtime rate of an extra 12.5%.

Therefore, if I worked 24 hours, as I often would as a sales assistant, I would earn approximately 200 a week.

Now, because I'm contracted at 24 hours, I earn 188 a week at my new rate. But because I'm now more expensive to employ for overtime - only marginally I'll add - I rarely get more than my contracted hours outside of peak periods as a supervisor. This means I'm regularly earning less than the staff I manage!

To compound the issues, as part of the "management team" I'm now expected to take on lots more responsibility with no monetary compensation.

If somebody sets our store alarm off while the shop is closed I have to attend - without payment. If there is work to be done and not enough hours to give to the staff, the "management team" is expected to pick up the shortfall, working extra hours without pay.

I have to constantly pay attention to my store's WhatsApp group, even when I'm off or on holiday, in case I miss an important development.

I'm also expected to do electronic learning to stay on top of product knowledge, which there often isn't time to do at work, so - yep, you guessed it - I have to do that in my own time as well.

All this for nothing more than the 'prestige' of calling myself a manager as well as an effective pay cut!

As a means of striking back I've used my new "authority" to encourage my staff to unionise. It's been a huge success, with 50% of my staff now in Usdaw, the retail and distribution union.

However, upper management have gotten wind of my unionisation drive. I'm now on a final warning for everyday errors.

Other members of management also make these errors, yet I have been the only one disciplined to this extent.

I feel like I am being witch-hunted by the rest of management. And yet my staff hugely appreciate me for encouraging them to take breaks which, by law, they're entitled to; encouraging them to demand to do training during working hours; and trying to maintain their conditions.

It's going to take a little time, but I am confident that my staff will soon have the confidence to start demanding more than their current awful conditions.

Through collective organisation we can fight for better conditions and it's not as if my company is short of a few bob.

Over the busy Christmas periods our store can often make more in a day than I would make in a year - and yet the super-exploitation continues. Just like the rest of the Socialist Party, I'll continue to fight for:

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In The Socialist 14 February 2018:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win the fight for the NHS

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Tamil youth march for justice

Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in


Oxfam scandal

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

How should TUSC approach the local elections and Brexit negotiations?


Socialist history

Czechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism


International socialist news and analysis

Cape Town drought

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people


Workplace news and analysis

UCU uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

Newham teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council


Socialist Party campaigns

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

Staines fire services saved

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig


Opinion

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street


 

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