Bree T-Shirt and the Warehouse Project. Code Leave
Every Eastern-European new comer in UK goes through a shock when searching for work. There is plenty, in the warehouses, usually, contracted by agencies, which, as far as I have seen, don’t respect the worker’s rights. The warehouse worker has no right whatsoever if he/she is hired by agencies, contracted by the companies to supply, let’s say it clearly, slaves with no identity, no dignity, just an army of poor lost souls in the warehouses governed by totalitarian and sadistic-masochist team leaders.
When entering the warehouse gates, leave all hopes behind, you are in the labyrinth of the Minotaur, chasing you to rip you into pieces, abuse, torture and exhaust you in every possible way. Managers who resemble Ceausescu, Stalin, Hitler and Mao guard and monitor you every second to achieve your picking rate (if you are lucky, at least 70 boxes per hour, when an hour has got 60 minute, that means less than a minute per box when you walk or drive the lollop in huge warehouses, wearing an annoying wireless headset on you head to direct you). It is even worse than Securitate, KGB, STASI or other totalitarian monitoring organisms used to do. Imagine this – you become a robot, better move fast, close your ears to the managers harassing you, telling you all the time that you are not fast enough, you are slow, you do not listen, you can’t, you have to do, you have to listen or …. Leave, otherwise …. X (you fill in the dots).
Since Brexit, on many British people’s lips, especially agency recruiters or team managers, is the word LEAVE. When you ask a question or raise an issue, you are simply told to LEAVE. They even advise you to take Liver Code Pills. So what is to be done with these tiny, totally useless, warehouse dictators? Some of us would think of a Revolution. And why not? Why are the agencies allowed to abuse workers, be them foreign or British? Why should the worker be monitored on the computer system every second to check on his position, rate and everything else? Because, let’s face it, they listen to us talking there among the aisles, they monitor your social media, they listen to what you talk in the lunch break in the canteen, they watch your every move. They cut your mobile phones signals within the warehouses and ban you to use any communication (a phone is handy when you need it to record abuse, isn’t it?).
When you think of coming to UK, bear in mind that all you need is not you degrees or hard acquired knowledge, just a pair of safety boots, a high visibility vest and maybe a pair of gloves. Measure your physical strength, you could get a hernia very quickly, you could be psychologically shocked and you will certainly be very, very tired. Dead tired, finished. Check your abuse tolerance level, prepare to face very unfair, hysterical and unbalanced team managers and agency staff. If you have university degree, you have to accept uneducated people to literally bark at you, control your life, even personal, tell you what and how and when, expose you to all kind of proposals and perverse manipulation techniques. Let’s stop them, we need rights. Workers need to be respected, they are the ones working hard, bending their backs, moving so fast you won’t believe, eating so fast you can’t imagine, running from here to there, spinning, doing overtime, told to leave whenever a tiny, dictatorial team manager or agency hirer says so, with no clear reason whatsoever. Rights for the agency warehouse workers in UK, in the XXI century, please, is it possible?
Is LEAVE a magic word, suddenly, like Abracadabra or Open Sesame, operating at a magic level, activated by witches, wizards, Harry Potters, ghosts and warlocks? „All my friends are heathens. Take it slow. Wait for them to ask you who you know. Please don’t make any sudden moves. You don’t know half of the abuse”.