How much surplus value is pumped out of the workers?

Posted in PaulHampton's blog on Mon, 28/08/2006 - 19:24,

Ever wondered how much surplus value is pumped out of the working class? A rough and ready guesstimate in The Observer reveals the following figures:

  • The 20 largest quoted companies in the UK make an average of over £96,000 pre-tax profit per employee
  • British Gas, made by far the most - approximately £445,000
  • Oil companies BP and Royal Dutch Shell, for example, both made around £200,000 per each member of staff.

With the average wage somewhere around £20,000 a year (once city-fat-cats are taken out), this suggests productive workers produce five times the amount of value needed to reproduce themselves. Of course the picture is complicated by tax and other revenue transfers, but the basic picture is clear – capital exploits wage labour.

Marxist Theory and History
Trade Unions

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