Jubilee and Olympic security - jobseekers working for free

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by MrPVRd, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. Peanuts and monkeys springs to mind. I saw a thread on G4S and this appears to be another example of elements of the security industry cutting corners and raking in money.


    A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.
    Up to 30 jobseekers and another 50 people on apprentice wages were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth as part of the government's Work Programme.
    Two jobseekers, who did not want to be identified in case they lost their benefits, said they had to camp under London Bridge the night before the pageant. They told the Guardian they had to change into security gear in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours, and were taken to a swampy campsite outside London after working a 14-hour shift in the pouring rain on the banks of the Thames on Sunday.
    One young worker said she was on duty between London Bridge and Tower Bridge during the £12m river spectacle of a 1,000-boat flotilla and members of the Royal family sail by . She said that the security firm Close Protection UK, which won a stewarding contract for the jubilee events, gave her a plastic see-through poncho and a high-visibility jacket for protection against the rain.
    Close Protection UK confirmed that it was using up to 30 unpaid staff and 50 apprentices, who were paid £2.80 an hour, for the three-day event in London. A spokesman said the unpaid work was a trial for paid roles at the Olympics, which it had also won a contract to staff. Unpaid staff were expected to work two days out of the three-day holiday.
    The firm said it had spent considerable resources on training and equipment that stewards could keep and that the experience was voluntary and did not affect jobseekers keeping their benefits.
    The woman said that people were picked up at Bristol at 11pm on Saturday and arrived in London at 3am on Sunday. "We all got off the coach and we were stranded on the side of the road for 20 minutes until they came back and told us all to follow them," she said. "We followed them under London Bridge and that's where they told us to camp out for the night … It was raining and freezing."
    A 30-year-old steward told the Guardian that the conditions under the bridge were "cold and wet and we were told to get our head down [to sleep]". He said that it was impossible to pitch a tent because of the concrete floor.
    The woman said they were woken at 5.30am and supplied with boots, combat trousers and polo shirts. She said: "They had told the ladies we were getting ready in a minibus around the corner and I went to the minibus and they had failed to open it so it was locked. I waited around to find someone to unlock it, and all of the other girls were coming down trying to get ready and no one was bothering to come down to unlock [it], so some of us, including me, were getting undressed in public in the freezing cold and rain." The men are understood to have changed under the bridge.
    The female steward said that after the royal pageant, the group travelled by tube to a campsite in Theydon Bois, Essex, where some had to pitch their tents in the dark.
    She said: "London was supposed to be a nice experience, but they left us in the rain. They couldn't give a crap … No one is supposed to be treated like that, [working] for free. I don't want to be treated where I have to sleep under a bridge and wait for food." The male steward said: "It was the worst experience I've ever had. I've had many a job, and many a bad job, but this one was the worst."
    Both stewards said they were originally told they would be paid. But when they got to the coach on Saturday night, they said, they were told that the work would be unpaid and that if they did not accept it they would not be considered for well-paid work at the Olympics.
    Molly Prince, managing director of Close Protection UK, said in a statement: "We take the welfare of our staff and apprentices very seriously indeed.
    "The staff travelling to the jubilee are completing their training and being assessed on the job for NVQ Level 2 in spectator safety after having completed all the knowledge requirements in the classroom and some previous work experience. It is essential that they are assessed in a live work environment in order to complete their chosen qualifications.
    "The nature of festival and event work is such that we often travel sleeping on coaches through the night with an early morning pre-event start – it is the nature of the business … It's hard work and not for the faint-hearted.
    "We had staff travel from several locations and some arrived earlier than others at the meeting point, which I believe was London Bridge [pictured left], which was why some had to hang around. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances but not lack of care on the part of CPUK."
  2. An excellent qualification I must say - what a forward-leaning company.
  3. Outstanding! British is Best. We can proudly show the world that we Lead the Way in Equal Opportunity Exploitation.
  4. Job's a job.
  5. Yeah, even if it's unpaid and you gotta change your clothes in the street. I bet they were really grateful for the work.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Any resemblance to being in the Army is purely coincidental.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Mollie Price (spokesperson) said (whilst on the move between events in her personalised Bentley (COI NIT1): "All our directors take training extremely seriously. Only the other week we all passed with flying colours an NVQ Level 5 in sheep-shearing"
  8. Sorry I'm late, I'll have one of whatever you are drinking.
  9. @MoLKellyPrince is on Twitter, for those who Tweet.

    CPUK (such a Noughties name) is run out of a trailer park in Wigan. WN2 3AW.

    Bing Maps - Driving Directions, Traffic and Road Conditions

    How many fortunes have been made on the back of (1) occasionally misguided people wanting a career in security/protection; (2) the gravy train of Michael Mouse certification and qualification, especially during the days of Enhanced Learning Credits etc; (3) the particularly lucrative combination of (1) and (2)?
  10. "You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt."
    • Like Like x 1
  11. This is a sister company:

    Home - Leadership Development Centre

    Seems they have ELC accreditation! Just shows the importance of conducting due diligence before committing to anything.
  12. Yeah? Well I once ate the entire contents of a horror bag issued at RAF Gutersloh in 1984. I think that trumps any spasticated faux three Yorkshiremen quotations.

    This is pure exploitation and taking the piss but it's ok because they were young/unemployed/not us......
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Four Yorkshiremen Monty Python's Flying Circus - "Four Yorkshiremen"

    My point is that the Coefest is totally Pythonesque.
  14. That's a Tory government for you.

    Close Protection UK seem to have quite a "sophisticated" website (i.e. looks like it was designed by a child): Close Protection UK

    I suppose this is who the government are resorting to given their contract with G4S has gone nowhere.

    But it's OK, they've got the Army...