Newspapers report the impact of recession by discussing the work of financial leaders who gutted their nation’s economy by mistaken assumptions and pure greed for profit. Lost in anger at the Bernie Madoff’s is what recession means to millions of people who have lost their jobs and endeavor to survive under horrific conditions which require putting aside self respect in order to earn enough to feed and house families. The British government increasingly is encountering situations in which employers exploit this need for work at any price by under-paying job seekers. A recent report in the British Observer uncovered numerous examples in which unlicensed business employers got men to work for half the minimum wage because they were so desperate for work at any price.
Manny Singh whose restaurant is close to a place where men wait for job offers says he increasingly notices examples of conflict and arguments as men compete with one another for a job offer. “We saw a fight last week over whose turn it was to get into a van.” Men at one place said they were forced to pay to borrow tools for the job they were hired to do.
Last year, 3,200 gangmasters who hire men off the street were arrested. Only 14 were successfully prosecuted.