Mondays on Plymouth community Housing’s Eco ewi project

Saturday morning my son received a letter from work, he was hoping it was his wage slip so he could check to see if his boss had messed about with the figure. It was a letter from the boss N routed through a new member of the HR team in Wales instead.

It started with “you have been identified as an operative with a wage agreement set up by a Boss B, this will be coming to an end on the 1st of January. It then warns him there will be no price per metre work only hourly rate from then on. Any question’s call Boss N. His hourly rate is a measly £10 and he would find it hard to get up at 5:30am and track down to Plymouth to work in all weathers for that. The trouble is it won’t be just that, we have to read between the lines, add in the fact that this particular boss is trying to remove all connections left in the company after Boss B’s demise. When he was offered the job Boss B said he tried to get him £16 an hour but Boss A had said no. Being downgraded to an operative was the final kick in the teeth. So as an operative you can be asked to do anything, you are no longer a tradesman, especially by Boss N who doesn’t like it when the client sends in an email glorifying my son’s work and mentioning he would like all his houses to be of this standard, this has so far been impossible with the immigrant labour on the job, whether they are Albanian, Lithuanian, or Polish. Some houses have been re-coated three times, never mind the amount of Riddors they have generated. How much crap work has been covered up will surface when the cold sets in, hopefully. Luckily for the company as a whole, Riddors generated after my false demise have so far been covered up, all five of them. They would have been stopped and closed down by now.

When i asked said boss what he thought of the email he replied “i don’t read drivel like that” and gestured it away like it was rubbish.

Boss A from the Welsh office came down in the week, my son and his mate heard his Welsh tones over the hedge, talking with an ex Connaught PLC boss. So this is the work done by the two that John (Site manager) was arguing to keep on his work stream he say’s. They walk in the gate, say nothing to my lad and his mate, instead barge past them and wander around the perimeter of the double block. They are discussing the quality as they come back around the front and exit the gate, i think it’s fantastic he says, i haven’t seen quality like that for years, i want it all to look like that. They get in their car and leave. They have  been clearing just over £400 a week working like dogs to achieve this. This possibly could be bettered as the winter is apon us and renders take longer to go off between coats, plus the Van driver who delivers materials every morning has been told to leave my lad and his workmate until the last. My son will be bringing home £300 +/- on hourly rate. Hi earnings where £28,000 last year and close to it for many years before.

When they swap over an to hourly rate his earnings will be more like £15,600. This is what makes me think the letter is telling him to look for another job, the boss doesn’t want you in his face. The boss has no idea what my son does for a living, he his from Kitchen and Bathroom replacements, i kid you not.

He arrives in Plymouth this morning, his Site Manager is fuming at the letter along with his number two. One of the Sub Contractors, Clyde, who pays his immigrant workers £40 a day tells him he knew last week my son was going on hourly rate. Another Subcontractor my son has worked for before when this Sub contractor was just a member of staff offers him a job which my son is looking on as a last option safety net. This Sub contractor employs a mad off his hinges bully that my son and his workmate spent two years complaining about to no avail. Finally working on the bosses own house brought it out in the open as his wife was in the kitchen horrified at what she was listening too. He kept his job though, he just got moved sideways. Going over to them will mean travelling to work with him as he lives in our town, but at least the boss will appreciate his work.

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