Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Economic Disasters 'R' Us

From the international to the national, to all too close to home, the economic crisis is claiming victims. I've looked at my bank account today and exclaimed, "S**t! It's an financial crisis!"

My personal situation would be improved considerably if Verde Plants, the company who employ me to maintain Jury's Inn Hotel's flowerbeds on a monthly basis, paid me the £315.00 for work hired until the end of September, now rising to £350.00 for work hired until the end of October that they owe me.

For literally weeks I've been calling the company, asking the man who hired me, politely, to pay me, or at least to tell me when I will be paid, as my current financial situation is starting to mirror the cartoon pictured (left), as it is for so many. Who knows? I mean, I might want to buy some Christmas presents or something! I half-wonder if they're deliberately putting me off because they've ran out of money themselves. I'm sure there's something in the Catechism of the Catholic Church about withholding wages from the labourer and it being a very serious bad thing to do that makes Angels cry, but, anyway, it looks like so many of us are in the same boat. We're not all secret millionaires, after all.

The economies of entire countries, namely Ireland and potentially Portugal and Greece and others are going rapidly down the crapper faster than the EU President can flush. Ireland's situation is dire. Really dire. We're not doing that well ourselves, and, as you can see from this Google graph, Spain's situation is abysmal with an unemployment rate of 20%.

Click on image to enlarge
All in all, Europe, if it is not already in crisis, looks very much like it will be. Political activism of the nasty variety is most definitely a prospect in Ireland, with so much unemployment and levels of poverty so bad that the Government have promised a block of cheese for every citizen.

The 'European integration' project could unravel as far right/left groups become more popular within individual nation states. In this country, even students are getting out of bed to smash up Conservative Party headquarters. We are living in dangerous times and the political outcomes of the economic crisis remain as yet unclear, but potentially incendiary.

At a local level, I have heard from a friend today that St Patrick's Nightshelter, the founder of which left Brighton in disgrace, having ensured he and his family's wealth was ameliorated through "tramp-farming", may soon close. This would be a direct hit on the homeless of Brighton. According to The Argus...

'Rough sleepers fear a night shelter could close after a “service review”. Riverside ECHG housing association, which took over St Patrick’s Night Shelter in Cambridge Road, Hove in September, refused to rule out the possible closure of the service.
Rory Grieveson, 64, who spent two nights at the shelter last week, said he would have died without St Patrick’s. A spokeswoman for Riverside ECHG housing association said: “We are conducting a review but we are not going to second guess the outcome of the review. There are two services at St Patrick’s. One is the hostel and that’s just had renewed funding and is not part of the review. The night shelter is being reviewed. Riverside ECHG took over fairly recently so this is something that we are doing as part of that. The review is commencing now and the findings are due in February. The review will be looking a whole range of thing, part of that will be looking at the finances and spending of the service.”'

Whatever the criticisms of Lorica St Patrick's Trust, that's bad news if it goes ahead. There is no other night shelter for homeless men in Brighton. As far as I know, there has never even been night shelter provision for women in Brighton, but for men who rely on St Patrick's Nightshelter, this winter could get much tougher. All of the rest of the hostels are council referrals only, with a very limited number of rooms available, usually with a waiting list. In other words, if you are stuck out in the cold, you will stay out in the cold, if that shelter closes.


catholic pragmatist said...

Why don't you approach Jury's Inns and tell them your situation. They might employ you directly or they might put pressure on your employer to actually pay you your dues!

georgem said...

Or you could ring Revenue and Customs innocently asking if the company/your "employer" is registered for VAT. That, of course, may guarantee you'll never get your money. I am guessing that no contract was signed.
CAB is your next step, I think.
They do have a free legal service which will be au fait with employee rights.

stopbeingstupid said...

*hugs* I hope they will pay you soon. This is a disgrace.

The Citizens' Advice Bureau is usually useless, BUT worth a try since you're running out of options.

Are you in a trade union?
I assume not.

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