What a strange thing to say Mr. Charkrabortty

The urban-regeneration specialist John Houghton, who grew up there, can reel off the factories that employed locals: Schweppes, Murray Mints, Delco the car-parts maker and Ford\’s Halewood plant. Most of those disappeared long ago, and the others have shrunk severely.

From its industrial heyday, Kirkby has become one of the most deprived parts of the country. More than 12% of the available workforce in the borough of Knowsley, which Kirkby is part of, are out of a job, as compared with 8% in the rest of the north-west. Of those in a job, about one in three work for the public sector. The other big local employers are call centres: typically neither as high-paying nor as secure as the old industrial employment.

Given that call centre employment exists and the old industrial employment does not I\’d rather think that, by definition, the call centre employment is more secure.

9 thoughts on “What a strange thing to say Mr. Charkrabortty”

  1. Well there are peculiar modern flexible hours contracts, that might make people feel less secure day to day.

    But OTOH, I’d guess that the real incomes and living standards of callcentre workers are much higher than those of skilled factory workers in the 70s and 80s, though relative to some occupations they may have lost ground.

  2. There is massive nostalgia bred in to the Labour movement for the post-war industrial period. It is the golden age of Attlee and the NHS, the Welfare State, nationalisation and demarkation.

    So we must recreate it.

    Not that far from us, there is a huge fully serviced plot available to buy, from the council, if and only if you are going to put a large factory on it. Nothing else will do. No matter how many jobs, no matter how much money. You must be beating metal, have a union, and probably need to use barrier cream.

  3. Not just the Labour movement. For some reason many people think industry = good while services = bad. Like we’d not be in trouble if we had a majority of workers employed in industrial plants, but we are in trouble because people work in different types of employment.

  4. First everyone did agriculture. Then everyone did weaving and spinning. Then everyone was employed in manufacturing. Now everyone is employed in some service industry.

    Times change. Labour want to stay in the past. Just like a museum.

  5. Send a few of those call centre wokkers to China to work in a iron foundry for week. That should be enough to get the message back to those who believe it is somehow more noble to be workings in a manual job.

  6. There are plenty of people working in industry in Aberdeen, but it isn’t popular because it makes them rich and therefore not dependent on the state and unions, and makes evil oil companies lots of money. We also happen to be pretty damned good at it, but half the country would prefer us to be making shit cars and digging up coal.

  7. The other big local employers are call centres: typically neither as high-paying nor as secure as the old industrial employment.

    Old industrial employment wasn’t very well paid. Gutting chickens, banging in rivets. People used to talk of getting their kids into a “good office job” because it was better than manufacturing.

    It’s only because our manufacturing is more specialised that wages have risen. The people who make A380s and F1 cars are in a different league of skills to the people who built Austin Allegros.

  8. It’s only because our manufacturing is more specialised that wages have risen.

    How Marxist of you (the labour theory of value).

    Actually, it is because the wages for the other jobs these people could do have risen – new and higher value add jobs. If you look at football (as well as the old nationalised industries), you can see that the ability of the employer to actually pay doesn’t really impact on the wage demands of the workers.

    It’s only because our manufacturing is now more value adding (of which specialisation is one niche) that manufacturing employers can afford to pay the same sort of wages that other industries can.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *