ParcelForced Labour?

If you open your door to a delivery man, you could be looking at a slave.

Cleaners and delivery drivers in the gig economy are being subject to financial penalties for not showing up for work – that’s beyond docking the pay for work not done: it’s a fine on top. According to the Guardian, . . . → Read More: ParcelForced Labour?

Ineos in a state

Fracking is controversial and widely rejected by the communities where it could take place. But the oil company Ineos is pushing forward with its fracking plans in the UK. It seems content to do this at almost any cost to community good will, pursuing legal injunctions making any practical protest illegal.

The damage this is . . . → Read More: Ineos in a state

Creating things that don’t exist

Walmart and Google are entering the voice-shopping market – alongside the other big online players, Amazon and Apple.

Walmart’s goal is to “create customer experiences that don’t currently exist“. Is that a good thing?

It is almost certain that Walmart will have conducted extensive market research to see whether people actually want it and how . . . → Read More: Creating things that don’t exist

Pricing in bad behaviour

Barclays’ boss is being investigated by two regulators: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The reason seems to be that the CEO wanted to uncover the identity of a whistleblower within the bank.

Of course this is quite contrary to the bank’s own policies on the matter, as set out . . . → Read More: Pricing in bad behaviour

How much is a human being worth?

Over recent months the government has declared that employees (including bosses) should be neither over-paid nor under-paid. That’s fine – but how do you judge what is too much or too little?

It turns out that at the top, the level of pay for CEOs currently bears no relationship to performance, as measured by return . . . → Read More: How much is a human being worth?

The press cannot regulate itself

The main mass circulation UK newspapers have set up IPSO to regulate themselves. Everyone else wants something independent of the newspapers to regulate the industry. The main alternative proposal is Impress, supported by Max Mosley and the Rowntree Trust.

The newspapers say that if anyone else controls them it could mean the end of press . . . → Read More: The press cannot regulate itself

Where does everything come from?

And for that matter, where does everything go?

We live in a world with global supply chains and apparently bottomless consumption. The demands of the market are that companies get stuff and sell it – but they do not often remember where it came from and perhaps don’t much care where it goes. So to . . . → Read More: Where does everything come from?

Brexit after Brexit

Now that Brexit is on its way, everyone is trying to work out what it means. I believe the most profound implications are not about the re-configuration of the UK’s political parties, or the length of time withdrawal may take, or the possible economic impact – or even the fragmentation of the United Kingdom.

The . . . → Read More: Brexit after Brexit

Is Plan A a stitch-up? Or just over-spun?

Labour Behind the Label has released a report that criticises the achievements of H&M and M&S in their clothing supply chains.

M&S in particular comes off in a bad light. Its 2010 Plan A commitment to deliver a living wage appears to have failed. What the report establishes is that workers in key parts of . . . → Read More: Is Plan A a stitch-up? Or just over-spun?

Supplier abuse

Tesco has been roundly criticised by the Grocery Code Adjudicator over its treatment of suppliers. The adjudicator investigated “the length of time taken to pay money due to suppliers, unilateral deductions from suppliers and an intentional delay in paying suppliers”. The findings leave no doubt that Tesco was engaged in substantial supplier abuse. In fairness . . . → Read More: Supplier abuse