Yeah. We’re only really starting to scratch the surface when it comes to what’s going on in Peterhead. Currently we’re looking at twenty-one companies and we’ve had meetings with people from ten of them and I’ve yet to see a contract. A lot of these guys don’t have contracts and the bosses don’t feel any great need to give them any. So yeah, I know that it will make a difference to some respect but the major danger is that if you can get an agency worker to do your job for minimum wage and you’re paying someone holidays, sick pay and whatever else, whatever the company rate is, why wouldn’t you just get the agency in to do all your work. Because the way the agencies operate, especially in food, is supplying in bulk. So if you get an employee provided by the agency ... An agency will provide you with a hundred people at minimum wage plus 10% and the agency keeps that 10% so they can make a pretty decent profit by providing in bulk. But then you get things like if an agency worker asks for holidays, they won’t have a job when they come back. If an agency worker goes off sick, they won’t have a job when they come back. All that kind of stuff. So if you take into account what a company would be paying a worker in terms of any pension, training, wage, sick pay, holidays, all the rest of it, it’s a lot cheaper for them to just get in the agency workers. There’s very few agencies that really do anything legitimately, or there’s very few ethical job agencies.

  • Dominic Allen
Tuesday 16th December 2008