I’m working as a waitress for the largest catering company on the planet, whose annual revenue in 2009 was over £13 billion. I get paid £7 an hour and that makes me one of the lucky ones.

It’s a seasonal job where we were all told we’d be getting £7 an hour, but after a month the managers told half of us that we’re actually being paid £6.50. They’ve downgraded half the staff to ‘general assistants’ and cut their pay from the beginning. That’s got to be illegal right?

The sick thing is that everyone has just taken it; no one wants to make a fuss because there are a few fabled permanent jobs that might be available at the end of the season and everyone wants one. Everyone feels lucky to even have a job at the moment and temporary bar staff like us are never unionised, so we just flounder around getting exploited.

I wondered in the beginning why they hired so many people whose English was rubbish. It didn’t seem to make sense since we were working with the public.

It quickly became clear, however, that those with poor English were going to be working in the kitchen, cleaning, washing up and carrying boxes up from the cellar. They are the most vulnerable of all because their options to do something else are so limited. It’s them that got their pay cut.

Weirdly, the company has put its week-by-week expected profit figures on the top of our rota. I don’t know if this is supposed to be motivating, someone’s idea of a cruel joke or if they are trying to turn everyone into die-hard Marxists, but the contrast between their profits and our pay is staggering.

Not that they are making what they want to make. They were aiming for £300,000 in two months and they aren’t on course for half of that. That means our hours being cut so we are understaffed, with managers stalking around screeching for crumbs to be swept up.

Clearly crumbs on the floor is the reason for the profits being down – nothing to do with a global depression and the unaffordable nature of overpriced drinks.

This has me thinking about this passage from ‘The ABC of Communism’ by Bukharin & Preobrazhensky:

“The question now arises, for what reason does the capitalist class hire workers? Everyone knows that the reason is by no means because the factory owners wish to feed the hungry workers, but because they wish to extract profit from them. For the sake of profit the factory owner builds his factory, for the sake of profit, he engages workers, for the sake of profit he is always nosing out where higher prices are paid. Profit is the motive of all his calculations.”

I’ve never worked in a factory. Instead I have this restaurant where we serve rounds of drinks that cost more than we earn in a day. Everything we do is for a profit margin that we have no stake in. We are not all in this together.