Tag Archives: redundancies

The 84% – starting the digital fightback

29 Jun

by Amy Jackson

Coalition cuts have resulted in massive unemployment for women. Of the 231,000 made redundant since the cuts were implemented, 193,000 are women. That is 84%. Worryingly, this attack on women’s At the job centreemployment has been given little to no airplay by traditional media, despite the fact that the number of women out of work now is the highest in 25 years. Worse still, this trend is likely to carry on as the government continues to bring the axe down on the public sector, where women make up 65% of the workforce. In November 2011, the Office of Budgetary Responsibility estimated that 710,000 jobs will be lost in the public sector between now and 2017.

The evidence showing that women are bearing the brunt of the cuts is easy to find. The Fawcett Society, who campaign for equality for women, say on their website:

‘Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that, since the end of the recession (at the end of 2009), women’s unemployment has been rising at a significantly disproportionate rate to men’s. In February 2012, men’s unemployment stood slightly below where it did back then (at 1.535 million) whereas women’s unemployment has increased by over 20% (from 945,000 to 1.14 million). In fact, over the past two years women have accounted for 100% of the increase in unemployment.’

Yet outside of the websites and press releases of women’s groups and trade unions, there is very little coverage of the issue. A very quick scan of news results on ‘Google News’ shows articles dealing specifically with women’s unemployment are few and far between, mostly making a passing reference to women while discussing the wider issues of unemployment as a whole. The lack of media attention means the issue is going unnoticed by the majority, and the government is not being held accountable for its attack on women workers. 

Donna Govan, campaigner for Unison, said, ‘Having been signed up to all both the political blogs and the ‘feminist’ blogs, I’ve been concerned that this issues appears to be ignored by the political blogosphere because it is a women’s issue and ignored by the feminist channels because it is an employment issue.  We simply can’t afford this silence, politically, economically and as a society.’

To combat this silence, the Netroots conference tomorrow will be holding a workshop on the issue – ‘The 84%: Starting the digital fight back’ . Focussing on how we can use digital channels to bring make the 84% a mainstream issue, the session aims find a way to move these redundancies from the personal to the political in a way that gets grabs the media’s attention, and brings this mass unemployment of women more in to the public arena. Left Out will be there, we hope you can make it too!

 

The session will take  place at 11am, Saturday 30th June, at the Netroots Conference: Congress Centre, Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3LS

 

You can find out more details about Netroots and buy your tickets (only a fiver!) here.

HSBC to cut 2,000 jobs after double-dip recession announced

26 Apr

by Amy Jackson

 

Yesterday brought the all-too-predictable news that Britain’s economy has shrunk for the second quarter in a row, and so entered a double-dip recession. With a failing economy, fresh allegations from the Leveson inquiry and a minister on the brink of resignation, Cameron endured one of his roughest PMQs to date. Ed Miliband capitalised on the government’s woes, demanding that Cameron did not offer another ‘excuse’ for the Coalition-imposed economic woes. With his usual stock response about who ‘got us in to this mess’, Cameron added, ‘We have got to rebalance our economy, we need a bigger private sector.’  But unfortunately for Cameron, the private sector is failing to come up with the goods. Unemployment still stands at 2.65 million, and news continues to flow of business more keen to cut staff than hire them.

The most recent set of redundancies have come from HSBC, the UK’s most profitable bank, who announced yesterday that they are to cut 2,000 jobs from mostly middle and senior management roles. HSBC clearly means business. They currently employ 50,000 people in Britain, and with these redundancies they are slashing 4% of its workforce. HSBC does not plan to stop here. Stuart Gulliver, CEO of HSBC, has made it clear he aims to shed 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 – 10 per cent of its workforce – saving £2.4billion a year. Obviously profits of £14 billion aren’t quite enough.

However, the union representing workers at HSBC, Unite, will not accept these job losses without a fight. The national officer for financial services, David Fleming, said: “Unite will oppose any job losses at HSBC and Unite is in dialogue with the bank regarding the speculation today. Bank staff deserve so much more than this awful treatment by HSBC or any other employer. How can this bank consider staff cuts when it was the workforce that delivered it a profit of £13.8 billion last year?

“The hypocrisy of CEO Stuart Gulliver taking home £8 million, while talking up job losses in order to save money, will not be lost on the workforce.

“Unite is outraged that bank workers, who throughout the financial services industry are serving customers daily, are having their jobs cut which will mean service will suffer.”

What will it take for Cameron and Osborne to realise that maybe they shouldn’t ‘stick to the plan’ and the private sector will not be the knight in shining armour they had hoped?

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