Battle is on for fair pay and conditions
Low wage economy
In the Gazette (April 1), we have the awful story of B&Q announcing plans to close 60 stores.
The Prime Minister’s latest pledge that they have created 18 million jobs in five years rings hollow.
In the real world, the drive to cut jobs in the North Sea by the thousands, also in rail and shipping tells the real story.
Then there was the disgraceful treatment of City Link staff on Christmas Day last year, when a whole workforce was thrown on the scrap heap.
This Government pluck figures out of the air for their claims.
We have a low waged, low skilled economy where zero hours contracts are the norm.
Last year TUC figures showed that on average one in four workers puts in a day’s unpaid overtime every week.
It is not surprising that workers who are subject to zero hours and earning less than a living wage will be puzzled at the constant figures coming from government departments.
Benefits of zero hours
Zero-hours contracts can be seen either as a stepping stone to full-time employment or a way to exploit workers.
Inevitably, Labour choose to see it as exploitation. In so doing, they ignore two positive benefits of these contracts.
Firstly, they enable thousands of disabled people to employ personal carers.
Disability can’t be scheduled like a factory work rota.
It demands flexibility, and zero-hours contracts allow this. Secondly, the flexibility of these contracts enables employers to employ many staff who would otherwise not be employed.
Nothing but fixed-hours contracts would result in thousands of seasonal businesses ceasing to exist.
For these, the choice is zero-hours contracts or no contracts.
Dr Barry Clayton
Signs are obstruction
While walking through our delightful ‘garden town by the sea’ this beautiful Easter weekend, I was disappointed to see so many signs on so many street corners advertising a local shop and spoiling the ‘classic resort’ image of our town.
They were also causing obstruction to disabled and people with limited sight.
The impressive new ‘street signs’ direct visitors to explore our town so the need for ‘unsightly’ ‘tatty’ dangerously placed A-Boards surely should cease?
However, my heart was lifted as the deep joy of song filled the air as the Fylde Christian Church filled the Square with such joyous Easter praise.
Beneath a sky of glorious blue in the sunshine uplifting song spilled out into the community reminding us all of the true, often over-looked by retailers, ‘meaning’ of this joyous season!
Thank you to Kathy and all who brought such beautiful songs to our town centre lifting the hearts of residents and indeed visitors to our popular resort.
Be happy, enjoy the Easter celebrations! I do like to see our Square used for such an array of outside entertainment and indeed worship.
I love my slippers!
I am writing to wholeheartedly disagree with your columnist Jayne Dawson regarding slippers (Gazette, April 4).
She is obviously only expressing the opinions of the younger generation, but perhaps, she may change her mind should she be fortunate enough to live to be an octogenarian!
I can think of nothing more pleasant than arriving back home after a marathon shopping expedition, than taking off my shoes and sinking into my slippers!
My life is not over and I hope to enjoy my slippers for more years to come.
Please do not condemn them all to be burned at the stake.
There is a time and place for everything.
Island show is tough
Well done to Chavala Parker for taking on the challenge of joining The Island TV series (Gazette, April 8).
Most people go on television because they are desperate to get their five minutes of fame.
However I don’t think anyone would take on the hardships Chavala and the rest of the girls faced living on an isolated island unless they were very determined.
It certainly wasn’t a particularly glamorous way to get on TV!
And it is an interesting concept to see how well the girls do, having to survive on their wits, compared to the men.
We are all so used to our mod cons, that I cannot imagine many of us could cope having to hunt for our food instead of just nipping to the nearest supermarket.