Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2010

"We want our wages"

Interview with sacked Telegen workers

300 workers at Telegen, a call-centre in Brighton, were made redundant with no notice on Friday 21 May. Two sacked Telegen workers spoke to Brighton Socialist Party about their experience and their plans to fight for their unpaid wages.

"On Friday morning I checked my bank account and I hadn't been paid. I called a friend and they hadn't been paid either. We went into work and 200 to 300 members of staff were outside, not being allowed into the building. Creditors distributed leaflets explaining that Telegen had ceased trading. Some people were crying. Others looked stunned. In the creditors' meeting we were told officially that we had been made redundant. Friday was the first day for some people, just recruited in the weeks before!

"We are owed two weeks' pay, as well as holiday, overtime and pay instead of the week's notice of redundancy. We are paid 220 a week basic rate, as well as commission and bonuses. I worked 20 hours overtime in the last week for which I have not been paid.

"We live week by week, with food, bills and rent to pay. One friend lost his house because he cannot afford to repay the mortgage. Some people literally used their last 2 to get the bus into work expecting to be paid!

"We are all relying on crisis loans from the jobcentre as it takes a month to get housing benefit and jobseeker's allowance. Many of us have moved in with our parents and don't qualify for the full benefits. Around 25% of us have new jobs to go to.

"On Thursday we were told to attend work in smart dress to impress a client that was being shown around the office. It turns out these 'clients' were the creditors being shown Telegen's assets! We are angry that we were lied to. Our payslips were not given to us on the Thursday due to a 'problem with the printers', another lie.

"Why was Telegen recruiting when they knew they would close? Why didn't they tell us this might happen so that we could at least plan ahead? Why didn't they put aside some funds for our pay at least, if not a bridging fund?

"We now face a horrendous battle filling in forms and waiting for the outcome of the creditors' meeting to find out whether we are getting our pay or not! That money is ours, we worked for it!

"We want our wages and we want them soon! We want compensation for the worry and difficulties we have been through, especially the people who have lost their homes. We want the books to be opened and we want to see where all the money went. And we want to know why they lied to us, and why the directors couldn't face us themselves.

"In my next job I will definitely join the trade union and make sure it is organised in my workplace. We will be helping Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) and the PCS union to organise other call centres to make sure they are not treated like we were.

"We will be organising a picket with YFJ outside the creditors' meeting on Thursday 10 June to make our demands clear."

"My Dad is from Greece. I pray Britain doesn't go down that road, but when people are pushed so far they can't help but fight back. This crisis is not the fault of the ordinary people.

"I marched during the youth movement in late 2008. Young people are brainwashed at school to think they will get jobs and a good future if they work hard. When they grow up they realise that isn't true."


Kemptown Crypts

Thursday 3 June 7pm

Speakers include: Tracy Edwards, PCS Young Members coordinator

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 2 June 2010:

Stop Israeli state terror!

British Airways cabin crew strike

British Airways strike: Full support for the cabin crew

Environment and socialism

Oil spill is 'worst environmental disaster' to hit US

Socialist Party news and analysis

No to privatised academies: Defend public education

Millionaire cabinet plans cuts in benefits

One Law for the rich...

Them and us!

Interview with sacked Telegen workers

Youth Fight for Jobs: More trade unions add their support


Cardiff says 'no' to the racist EDL

Housing crisis

Gateshead tenants demand decent homes

Socialist Party LGBT

Socialists campaign for Pride not profit in Birmingham

Marxist analysis: history

Margaret Thatcher: Why workers cannot forget


Minority representation in Scotland for Westminster coalition of cuts

Socialist Party Scotland to be launched

Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting council cuts: Planning for united strikes in Kirklees

PCS conference Defend the public sector

Coventry - time for mass action

Will the councils fight the cuts?

University and Colleges Union: Congress votes to fight

UCU young members' conference

NSSN conference 2010

International socialist news and analysis

Jamaican armed forces surround and storm poor neighbourhood

Workers' suicides: The human cost of an iPad

Socialism Today


Home   |   The Socialist 2 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleFund NHS and pay rise now

triangleA day in the life of a salon worker

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

triangleLobbying for a lead from the TUC


triangleTate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

trianglePCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

triangleTate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"


triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The fight for jobs

triangleJobs, training, pay, we want a future!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


The Socialist

The Socialist: More than a newspaper



Coventry: Socialist Students is back



Liverpool Council must save care homes



Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools


Fighting Fund

Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444



Workplace news in brief



Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Socialist Party

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


Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'



Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges


National Shop Stewards Network

Lobbying for a lead from the TUC



Angry health workers demand 15% now!



Reinstate Richie Venton



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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020