Can big businesses afford to pay above the minimum wage? Watch

FightToWin
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#21
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#21
(Original post by Trapz99)
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.
It's cool that you can think like that and be happy. It's just my personal opinion. I just think if we're going to spend that much time, spending days,weeks,months either getting ready for work, at work, or recovering from work, then just once in a while we should be able to break the cycle, go somewhere different and explore the world we're in. Live our lives instead of making someone else's a bit richer. And/or at least be able to achieve the same kind of success as the person we're working for, which we'd need money for.
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Acsel
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#22
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#22
(Original post by FightToWin)
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.
That's fair, interesting that things have generally not changed

(Original post by FightToWin)
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.
Of course as I mentioned before, those figures are largely pulled from one source so take it with a pinch of salt. But £70 million to spare sounds great until you realise that profit might need to be invested into the company. Or it might be needed to make up losses. And the £6 billion loss the following year would have turned into nearly £8 billion lost. In comparison that £70 million makes a tiny dent towards evening it out.

(Original post by FightToWin)
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.
This is true but for Apple it's totally unecessary. As far as I know, Apple don't pay anyone minimum wage. The most basic in store retail positions will still bring in above minimum wage, managerial positions are pushing £40-50K and developer jobs can be higher still. The people not working in the shops are all bringing in well above minimum wage. The people working in shops are above minimum wage but if all you're doing is standing and talking to customers, that's a fairly low skill requirement. And they still get paid above minimum. This doesn't even factor in other benefits like discounts, company funded events, matched payments into pension funds and so on. Even just going back to a normal supermarket example, that might be closer to minimum wage. The employee probably has a discount card, not to mention a store rewards card (I had both) and I could have further improved my rewards using a store credit card that I would have paid off straight away. All these little things add up

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.

(Original post by FightToWin)
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.
I chose not to name for the same reasons, didn't want this to turn into a war of companies. I feel like there's been a bit of a shift though recently to encourage companies to pay more than minimum wage. I personally think it's really rare to see people justifiably complain about low wages nowadays. The lack of public service pay rises is pretty much the only major story I can think of right now and that's not really a minimum wage issue

(Original post by FightToWin)
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.
It's interesting you should say that, I've never personally looked into this until now so everything I've said has basically been my opinion and quick, unreliable Google searches.

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
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Emma:-)
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#23
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#23
(Original post by bones-mccoy)
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.
I agree.
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