What about the workers?

Vernon Ellis, in his support of the intrinsic goodness of global business (The NS Media Lecture, 16 July), does himself and his position no favours by adopting distorted views of history. So improvements in industrial health and safety in the 19th century were brought about solely by enlightened employers campaigning for change. Weren't the unions formed precisely in order to protect and further the rights and interests of workers who were being abused by the largely unscrupulous practices of big business?

Paul Bonaventura
London W6

This article first appeared in the 23 July 2001 issue of the New Statesman, In the line of fire