UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Compass Declares Recession a 'Fantastic Opportunity'‏

Richard Cousins the Chief Executive of Compass (annual salary £3.4 million) was interviewed in the Daily Telegraph yesterday. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/supportservices/8147875/Compass-chief-executive-Richard-Cousins-points-to-growth-and-acquisitions.html Describing the new age of austerity as a ‘fantastic opportunity’ he goes on to claim that ‘costs need to be taken out of systems and that’s what we do.’

Pitching perfectly for a coalition government bent on making workers pay for the banking crisis, Cousins is optimistic that they can win more contracts in the Healthcare and Education sectors. Thus the outsourcing cycle is set to continue to benefit the private companies rolling in profit already.

Compass pre tax profits have now leapt from £737 million last year to a new high forecast in the Telegraph of £989 million - £252 million in one year.

Last week workers at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge successfully fought off an attempt to cut hours and freeze incremental pay for Cleaners, Domestics, Porters and Catering staff. This week workers at Buckinghamshire NHS Trust and Southampton University Hospitals are voting on strike action over Agenda for Change. Workers continuously complain about shortages of basic equipment like maps and a general decline in equipment and replacements.

Taking costs out of the system leaves workers on low wages and a shortage of mops. That’s what ‘taking costs out of the system’ really means. Workers have calculated that it would take one of them on the lowest grade 275 years to earn what Cousins earns in a year.

The real question is – can we afford to have Compass draining money out of public services into their annual profits? £989 million would buy a lot of urgently needed equipment and pay a decent wage for a lot of workers.