From the TUC

Days Four & Five

25 Nov 2008, By

Rather than go through EVERY single transaction I’ve, well transacted, over the last two days – here are some of the ‘highlights’  (I use the word ‘highlights’ very advisedly)


  • On-line shopping at Tesco – Tesco is one of those companies people love to hate…its 30% UK market share has seen it come under fire from groups representing environmentalists and farmers alike. Its spawned a Tescopoly web-site (‘an alliance of organisations concerned with the negative impacts of supermarket power’)  and a book of the same name by Andrew Simms. Like so many multi-nationals Tesco appears almost schizophrenic in its approach to unions. In Britain the company has a partnership arrangement with USDAW – and employs the largest chunk of private sector union membership in the country, over 130,000 workers. In the US the company has been accused by the UFCW of denying employees the right to organise.
  • Setanta Sports– I cracked last night and ‘bought’ a month’s subscription to Setanta 1 on Virgin Media so I could watch Everton vs Wigan (a mistake – we lost 1-0). Virgin Media recognise BECTU, though this agreement currently doesn’t cover contact centre staff. The company have just announced a substantial redundancy programme and you can read BECTU’s response here.
  • itunes store – I bought a couple of songs of itunes last night – my taste in music is generally considered pretty poor so I won’t bore you with the details. I genuinely haven’t got a clue how itunes works – where its based, who works on it, what sort of people they employ. I guess 99% of the process is automated, but 1%  must rely on real people. Are they based in the UK, US, India? Are they employed by ApPle or outsourced? What sort of deal do artists get from working with Apple – better or worse than the deal they get when their work is sold on CD? If you’ve got an answer to any of these questions let me know!  I guess buying on-line is better for the environment, but other than that I’ve got no take at all on how ethical ‘Apple’ is.