Thursday, 28 July 2011

G+ invites update

So far I've had over 1,000 requests for G+ invites, although there is some duplication included in those figures as some people have entered their email address more than once. I reckon I've sent out over 900 invites to real people.

Out of those people:
14 have left a rating on the market
11 paid £1 each (of which I received 70p)
9 have individually emailed me to ask for an invite
6 have left comments on the market

Since yesterday morning, the invites are coming in fairly steadily at about 15 per hour. The peak time was between 10pm last night and 2am this morning, when we hit about 17.5 per hour.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Sainsbury's pay

I used to work for Sainsbury's.  I see from the Guardian that people are protesting the current wage levels.  It's tempting to point out how lucky they are (when I joined, I was on £2.73 per hour) but probably more honest to point out that they do have a perfectly good option.  If they don't like the pay there, they can get another job.  If enough people did that, perhaps Sainsbury's would up their wage to keep their staff...

Looking at the article, the main gripe seems to be that Sainsbury's makes a massive profit, so should pay more.  According to the London Stock Exchange website (no idea if that link will work - if not, search for SBRY on the site) they have a market cap of around £6 billion, and they're profits were £665m.  That's around 11%, which is higher than average, but not necessarily excessive (most projections I've seen reckon on 5%-9% being normal).

But suppose they're right, and the bosses are doing absolutely the wrong thing by keeping all these massive profits (and presumably using a certain amount to grow the business?), and the excess should be spread out amongst the staff.  First we need to determine what's the excess.  A return of 5% would be poor, and would mean lots of people selling shares (driving the price down further and thus calling into question the long term viability of the company, and incidentally costing anyone in the employee share plan lots of money, but never mind all that) but might be acceptable to the staff - that would give £363m or so to spread amongst the staff.

There are two ways the cash could be distributed:
flat amount to each member of staff
150,000 staff (from wikipedia) working out at about £2,420 each, or £1.19 per hour, taking them to £7.50 per hour.
according to their current salary
total wage bill was ~£2bn in (from here (warning: pdf)), so adding £363m would increase the total by 18% or so, so the basic £6.31 mentioned in the article would go up to £7.45 per hour.

Note that this is not what they can afford, it's the most they could give if they were willing to seriously risk the long term viability of the company, so asking for £8.30 per hour is not really reasonable.

Taxing bankers won't send them overseas, honest

Interesting spin on the story here. The way they tell it, things are peachy and noone in the financial services industry wants to leave the UK.  That means we can tax the bankers as much as we want, they're not going anywhere!

Looking at the numbers they present gives a rather different story however.
The majority of respondents (80%) had either not had the opportunity to move abroad (43%), declined an overseas opportunity (9%) or were not willing/able to relocate (28%).
Fully 20% of those surveyed have moved abroad.  I don't know about you, but I reckon that's quite a lot.  Further, another 43% had not had the opportunity (presumably because they're happy where they are?) but they go on to say:
The 43% who had not had the opportunity to move abroad stated that they would however be open to the idea. New York (23%) was their preferred destination, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore (both 13%). Dubai and Sydney were close behind, both with 9%.
So from the figures they give, 63% of financial services staff have either moved abroad or are willing to do so.   I know that this is a small sample size, but I'd still consider that there's a definite problem if raising taxes on this particular sector...

Google Plus

Just so you know, I've got invites to G+. If anyone wants them, just leave a comment and I'll send one over :-)

Anyone using it and wishing to add me (there's not a lot to see, mind) can find me at