I have to confess to feeling not a little upset at the news that so many temporary workers’ jobs were being lost at the Mini factory, just a stone’s throw from where we live.
It’s a difficult financial climate – and our household currently has first-hand knowledge of how difficult the job market is at the moment.
I think part of my difficulty comes from the (apparent) employment practice at the mini plant, where a large number of temporary workers have been employed for a number of years without being given the offer of a contract and its associated security. And then the job of passing on the news being delegated to union representatives to deliver at the end of a weekend night shift.
Do we really care so little for those who work for us?
In studying 1 Peter at our church’s preaching group, I was struck at the passage teaching on how Christian slaves were to respond to their masters, and what the contemporary application of this might be. I recognise that with today’s employment law the balance of power has shifted – would this passage now call Christian employees to respect their employers and not abuse the law that has been put in place to protect them?
The sad thing is that today’s employment law may have encouraged BMW to maintain a relatively high number of temporary workers – many of who I would imagine are economic migrants – and not offer contractual security in payment for their service.
I know the situation is complex, but it still saddens me.