Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/504/3218

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2007

Supermarket price-fixing scandal

"WE REQUIRE you to work Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year. Other companies are doing it and we have to compete with them". "We need to extend our opening hours and your working hours to keep up with our competitors."

"We require your work patterns to be more 'flexible' because of the competitive business environment we operate in." "We regret to inform you that the final-salary pension scheme will no longer operate, to maintain our competitive advantage."

Or so myself and my fellow workers are told everyday by the supermarket we work for. But it seems 'competition' may not be the unstoppable force our bosses make it out to be. The big four supermarkets Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons and the big dairies supplying them have all been caught fixing the price of basic dairy goods like milk and cheese between them.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) estimates that consumers have been ripped off to the tune of 270 million. So, rather than being at the mercy of competitive pressures, the 'big four' seem quite capable of co-operating to protect their profits.

This just shows the supermarket industry bosses' hypocrisy and greed. The bosses trumpet 'competition', using it as an excuse when attacking their workers. But the same bosses flout 'competition' to make a few extra million by price fixing. In either case it is clear that what is operating is not some mystical 'competitive force' but the naked greed of big business. 'Competition' is just the latest word in their vocabulary of excuses.

All this shows the hollowness of 'competition' when monopoly capitalism dominates. The OFT cries foul at these 'uncompetitive practices', but what sort of genuine competition exists when the entire food (and distribution) market is dominated by a few big players, who use their economic muscle to dictate what goes on in the economy and all our lives? Not that much as this price-fixing scam proves!

Why can't the supermarket bosses compete to provide their workers with the best pay and the best pension schemes instead of the worst? Why can't they collude to offer consumers lower prices? That would require taking them out of the greedy hands of big business and nationalising them under democratic workers' control and management.

Sean Figg, Brighton Socialist Party
  • Meeting for Socialist Party members in shop workers' union USDAW, 2pm Saturday 6 October. Ring Alex on 078154 17112 for details.
  • 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.

    Please donate here.

    All payments are made through a secure server.

    My donation

     

    Your message: 

     


    In The Socialist 4 October 2007:

    Support postal workers: decisive action can win

    "We've had the battle - now this is war!"

    Protests make bosses ditch closure plan


    War and terrorism

    Iraq: end the occupation nightmare

    Stop the War Coalition (STWC) national demonstration


    Editorial and comment

    Tory party fears an autumn election

    Banking turmoil continues

    Corporate Labour


    Socialist Party NHS campaign

    Come to the NHS demo!

    Swansea meeting


    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Classroom assistants on strike

    Supermarket price-fixing scandal

    Success! Double whammy for nursery campaign


    Socialist Party features

    EU's anti-working class 'reforms'

    Fighting nuclear power


    Socialist Students

    Students want to fight back


    Socialist Party feature

    Che Guevara - revolutionary fighter


    Socialist Party events

    Socialism 2007: Ideas for our future

    Socialism 2007.net


    International socialist news and analysis

    Burma: Dictatorship under threat


    Socialist Party reviews and comment

    QPR buy-out - Reclaim the game!

    It's a free world, a film by Ken Loach

    Anno 1701 - Dawn of Discovery


    Socialist Party workplace news

    Local government pay offer: It's time for action

    Remploy workers win partial victory

    Care workers on strike

    National Shop Stewards Network makes plans


     

    Home   |   The Socialist 4 October 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate  




    Related links:

    Supermarket:

    triangleWorkers need a 'new deal' - at least 12 an hour now!

    triangleSupermarkets are ruled by profit - unions should control supply limits

    triangleSainsbury's strikers win

    triangleUsdaw ADM 2019

    triangleSupermarket giants merger: protect jobs and fight price hikes

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns

    23/9/20

    The Socialist

    The Socialist: More than a newspaper

    23/9/20

    Coventry

    Coventry: Socialist Students is back

    23/9/20

    Liverpool

    Liverpool Council must save care homes

    23/9/20

    Sussex

    Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

    23/9/20

    Fighting Fund

    Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444

    23/9/20

    Cardiff

    Workplace news in brief

    23/9/20

    Schools

    Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!

    16/9/20

    The Socialist

    Selling the Socialist

    16/9/20

    Socialist Party

    Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

    16/9/20

    Young people

    Covid generation says 'fund our future'

    16/9/20

    Coventry

    Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

    16/9/20

    National Shop Stewards Network

    Lobbying for a lead from the TUC

    16/9/20

    NHS

    Angry health workers demand 15% now!

    16/9/20

    Usdaw

    Reinstate Richie Venton

    16/9/20

    Hull

    Reinstate Tony Smith

    triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


    Join the Socialist Party
    Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
    Donate to the Socialist Party
    Socialist Party Facebook page
    Socialist Party on Twitter
    Visit us on Youtube

    LATEST POSTS

    CONTACT US

    Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

    Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

    Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

    Regional Socialist Party organisers:

    Eastern: 079 8202 1969

    East Mids: 077 3797 8057

    London: 075 4018 9052

    North East: 078 4114 4890

    North West 079 5437 6096

    South West: 077 5979 6478

    Southern: 078 3368 1910

    Wales: 079 3539 1947

    West Mids: 024 7655 5620

    Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

    ABOUT US

    ARCHIVE

    Alphabetical listing


    September 2020

    August 2020

    July 2020

    June 2020

    May 2020

    April 2020

    March 2020

    February 2020

    January 2020

    2019

    2018

    2017

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    2012

    2011

    2010

    2009

    2008

    2007

    2006

    2005

    2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

    1999