Can big businesses afford to pay above the minimum wage? Watch
It just seems a bit entitled to suggest that everyone should be able to afford a holiday or a ‘bit extra’. These things aren’t necessary necessities. One doesn’t need these things to be happy if they’ve got a good family, housing, healthcare, education, TV. My parents both work in minimum wage jobs, we live in a small two bedroom house and we’re all quite happy. It’s amazing compared to the hundreds of millions of people across the world who barely have enough to eat or have no access to education or healthcare.
I started work at the retail job a few days before my 19th birthday. I can't remember what the exact hourly rate was, but I think it was between £6 and £7. We did have the same kind of people you've described as being in your workplace, but also some people I know had families. Although it was a part time job, maybe they had another job or another half with a better job. Not my position to say.
Thanks for working out that example with Tesco, I probably should have come up with my own to support my argument but I didn't have time and I probably would've been awful at it. If I had to argue my side, I'd say your example leaves £70m after the pay rise which is still an unbelievable amount of money for shareholders and whatnot. But I admit, it's a huge chunk out of overall profits. And bringing up the wage by £2 only increases the employee's salary by a couple of thousand, so I can understand the company not really wanting to.
Other companies however, could definitely. So here's my example: Apple has 123,000 employees and $53.4 billion in profit. If the company were (in a perfect world) to split that profit between each employee, then each employee would get $434,146 between them on top of their actual pay and the company would still have enough left over to buy 7 iPhone X's. Ok, that will never happen, and I used one of the most successful companies as an example, but my point is businesses with not as many employees but big profits have it in their power.
But going back to the Apple example, even in an ideal world I wouldn't just want every employee to be given an additional £434,000 for two reasons. Firstly, if this scenario did happen I'd want it distributed more appropriately. The guys in the back designing and building the hardware and software do a lot more than the people out front selling it. One employee might sell 100 iPhones each year. But 1 of the backend developers is responsible in some way for every single iPhone that's being sold. Secondly just giving away that money to employees means the profits can no longer be invested back into the company. For example, Apple reportedly spent £10 billion on research and development in 2016. That money only exists because they generate profits.
But I totally get the point you're making, those with large profits and fewer employees can afford to pay those employees more. But equally, those companies often recognise that the money they make is a result of the employees, and thus pay them accordingly. I think you'd struggle to find a well known, high profit/low staff company that pays minimum wage. Because ultimately if Apple were paying their staff minimum wage, those staff would go elsewhere because they have talents that can be utilised. Even if it's just the guys in front of shop going over the road to the Microsoft store instead.
I can assure you all of my employers claimed to care about their employees in the handbook I was given once I was employed by them, and they paid near enough minimum wage. Not enough that I could get a second hand car so I had to walk around in and get drenched to the skin, let alone rent my own flat. But I'm not going to name names just in case it gets me in trouble. You never know who's reading.
All the other points were spot on. I really don't have much to reply to that. It's late, I'm really tired. You definitely have a better understanding of it than me and I don't think I can come up with any counter arguement. So fair play, you got me. I guess the conclusion could be some companies could do it, some couldn't. I guess I should just be thankful that for now, I'm alright. Maybe I should go invest in some shares or moan to the government about inflation or something.
While I agree that it'd be nice for companies to pay more, my general stance is that people should be paid proportionally to what they do. Additionally while it is partially the responsibility of the company, I feel like the majority of the responsibility lies with the employee themselves. They of course cannot control what they get paid. But the employee is totally responsible for their worth. You could argue that those people stuck in low paying jobs have to work whatever they can get. But you can also look at that from another perspective and wonder why they're not a more desirable employee. It really depends what perspective you want to take on this.
As a result, employees have a rough choice of where they work and thus what pay they should get, what sort of skills and experience they have to make themselves desirable and a general control over their own finances. As unfortunate as it sounds, a lot of people stuck in minimum paying jobs are not in a position to be worth a higher paying job. The friend I mentioned earlier is like that, no useful skills or qualifications and is stuck in a basic low paying job. This of course doesn't apply to everyone but at the same time if you look at a lot of people in unfortunate situations there are often some mistakes they made that can be attributed to that. Some people really are just unlucky but as far as I'm concerned, when I have a real career I'll be largely responsible for the wage I earn. If I want more money, I need to demonstrate that I'm worth it and then seek it out. That might mean asking the boss and it might mean leaving the company.
I suppose my general approach to money is that if you don't seek it out, it won't find it's way to you. The people stuck in low paying jobs are often there as a result of not or wrongly seeking it out
I wouldn't have a problem with the minimum wage if so many companies didn't essentially force their workers to go above and beyond, doing 3 other people's work when they're understaffed, being expected to drop everything and come into work on their days off, working people to the bone and exhausting them mentally and physically just for the bare minimum they legally have to pay. I've left 2 jobs now that have paid minimum wage and treated the workers like ****, not even giving us the breaks that we're entitled to and overworking us pretty much every shift. I agree that retail/hospitality etc are unskilled jobs so the pay should always be less than qualified jobs but that doesn't mean those workers should be taken advantage of.