13/04/2020 -Coronavirus Crisis: Heroes and Zeros

Hero Zero FBCrisis reveals both the best and the worst in people they say. The way companies and bosses are reacting to the current crisis is giving us insight into the characters of the people at the top. So here at Solidarity union, we're keeping a list of both the heroes and zeros during the Coronavirus crisis. There on our little list and there's none of them be missed - to paraphrase The Mikado.

ZERO: Wetherspoons chief Tim Martin

He told his staff that they would no longer be getting paid until the company received its Government bailout cash.

Which could take until the end of April.

In a video message, he told his employees to go and get a job at Tesco for a while.

Tim is worth an estimated £500 million.

HERO: Timpson's chief James Timpson

Mr. Timpson said all in-store staff will be paid while shops are closed.

The retailer, which started business in Manchester, has 2,150 stores across the UK.

Chief executive James Timpson said: “We are temporarily closing all our 2,150 shops by Monday, March 23, at 5pm, and going into hibernation... We hope it won’t be for too long.

“All our wonderful colleagues will remain on full pay and will look forward to seeing you when we reopen. Thank you.”

ZERO: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay closed his London restaurants and sacked 500 staff.

A chef who worked for him tweeted: “Such a shame to see how the company that you worked for and gave everything you had for two years throws you away like you are nothing but a little piece of s***, especially in difficult times like this.

Even though they have absolutely nothing to lose by keeping you.”

HERO: John Lewis and Waitrose

The group announced measures to help staff and customers during the coronavirus crisis, including a million-pound Community Support Fund to be distributed by shops to local communities, a support fund to aid staff facing additional childcare costs as a result of the pandemic, and protected shopping times for the elderly and NHS workers.

They also committed to delivering boxes of staple products to local care homes and community groups and donating products to create care packages for customers to share with vulnerable neighbours.

ZERO: Richard Branson

He told his airline staff to take leave for two months without pay, before begging for billions in a bailout from the British taxpayer. Branson has a multi-billion-pound fortune and his own paradise island. Branson wants cash-strapped taxpayers to give him money because his private business has problems. This when he treats his workers so badly. Just to put his actions in context though we should say that Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastion, who has foregone his entire salary for the next six months and concentrated pay cuts first and foremost at the top. Then there is EasyJet, who told staff to accept zero pay for three months while its bosses see only a 20 percent pay cut.

HERO: BT and Philip Jansen

Philip Jansen is donating his salary to health workers for at least six months and award a pay rise to his frontline staff who are maintaining broadband networks during the COVID-19 shutdown.

A previous commitment to make an award of 500 million pounds worth of shares to all employees will also go ahead. Frontline staff will get an annual pay increase of 1.5% from July 1 while managers will not receive an annual pay rise for 2020/21.

Just a few examples of how good people have reacted well in this crisis and bad people badly. Let's remember which was which during and after this crisis when we are choosing where to spend our money.