CABBIE’S COMMENT: We’re all in this together

Dave Humphrey

Dave Humphrey - Credit: Archant

So Tesco could face a £4 billion pound bill if a lawsuit over equal pay is successful. Paula Lee, representing the Tesco women, said “In terms of equal worth to the company there really should be no argument...”

A 27 per cent gap exists between the earnings of the guys working in the distribution centres and the shop store ladies. Clearly pay should be in compensation for the worth of services performed, irrelevant of gender. With the differential between the average wage of males and females in the 70’s being 35 per cent the progress towards equality is clearly shamefully slow!

However, this case exposes another disturbing issue over equality when we consider our politicians telling us “we are all in this together” and we then amend Paula Lee’s statement to “In terms of equal worth to the company society”.

The average wage of a nurse in 2017 was approximately £25,000, so what if, under the concept of “equal worth to society”, we now introduce another recent story of Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez earning £505,000-a-week! Put into context, a nurse would have to work 20 YEARS serving us when we are sick to receive what Alexis earns entertaining us playing a single game of football.

One sports media outlet demanded “Racing drivers put their lives on the line every time they get behind the wheel, so it makes sense that they’re paid handsomely for their services.” So what of firemen? Do they not “put their lives on the line every time they” enter a burning building? But here the comparison is even worse with a fire-fighter having to risk his life for 33 YEARS to be paid the same as a top F1 driver earns for a single race.

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The highest paid person in the UK for 2016/17 was reported to be the CEO of Bet365 who earned a cool £217 million salary. What miracles the NHS would have to perform to relate such an annual income to the 8,680 year long career for the average nurse to earn its equivalent.

The Greek philosopher Plato reasoned the highest paid member of society should earn no more than six times the lowest. “In terms of equal worth to society” how can the boss of a gambling company be worth 8680 times more than a nurse, fire fighter, teacher, policeman, carer, etc? Is it just me or is there something fundamentally wrong here?

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