Sunday, 16 March 2008


Thanet's SAGA call centre could be the next arena of 'strife' in Thanet. Rumour's abroad indicate that Saga has been recruiting new call staff on a greater basic wage than existing call staff and this has led to mutterings over beers in local watering holes about the need for a Union at Saga.

It would appear that the family atmosphere and 'we're all in this together' approach from the De Haan family days has evaporated since Charterhouse control. Low wages (this is Thanet after all ) combined with ever increasing 'sale's targets' to achieve a bonus seems to have been the tele-sales staff' lot for some now. The final straw seems to be a recruitment of 'labourers to the Saga vinyard' at different rates to experienced long serving staff.

Rumour has it that 21st century 'Tolpuddle' activists have already been carpetted for daring to talk 'Union' talk.


Tony Beachcomber said...

The long serving staff must have spent the money made from the shares options they bought from the De Haan days and sold to Charterhouse.

Anyway Trade unionism is a conviction so there no comparisson in this case with the Tolpuddle martyrs.
I sense the sudden conviction is down to being ripped off.Afterall this is Thanet and very few of the oppressed join unions because they believe in them only when the going gets tough. Good luck to them anyway as I support all TU struggles regrdless, but it will be interesting to see how many have completed 10 years membership in the union in 2018.

Bertie Biggles said...

Tony, I take your point. Its a sad fact that people have failed to realise that membership of a union is a bulwark, even if leaky, against excesses of modern business practice. It will be interesting to see how this issue progresses.

Rick said...


When I was contracting the Steel Unions at Port Talbot and Llanwern played up and contracts were subjected to the Simms Agreement.

The poor little direct employed unionized workforce did not like contractors earning more than them.

So we just had to drive contracts till penalty clauses loomed, defeat the Simms agrement get the external auditors withdrawn. Then earn well bringing the contract in on time and working. Then we, without the security of PAYE employment, would be unemployed seeking the next contract.

The more risk the more reward.

The workforce at Saga have established that they are low risk parochials.

Exactly the same happened where our son in law works. Computerized NHS salaries by an outside company. They brought in new employees on 2000 a year more than existing staff doing the same job.

If they don't like it. Walk. And don't bleat "What else would I do" ... if you are that scared then you are a low risk parochial and you take what sh-t the employer hands out.

I took a lot of crap from Siemens site bosses in 1989 in Birmingham. Self employed contracting. But I was earning a grand a week. So I took it for three weeks got a long service award from the lodgings landlady as the Englishman who stayed longest on site with the p-ss poor European electrical standards they work to .. then I chinned the Obbengruppenfuhrer foreman and drove off site in my Mercedes. The lectrician's mate they gave me was a holy joe .. as I walked off he said "Remmber Rick Jesus loves you" So did my wife when I returned home with three grand !

Bertie Biggles said...

I am sure she did!

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments.

My son and daughter work for Saga in Folkestone and Thanet. While their basic pay is not that high the bonuses they've had have been huge. Last September they got over £10,000 and apparently they've got shares in the new company free too.

Sheila Johnson
Sounds pretty good to me.