Unite the Union reveals profits of Britain’s biggest firms gone up by 89%

We are living in a 'cost of profiteering crisis’, says Sharon Graham


A new report has exposed soaring corporate profiting in the UK, as Unite the Union accuse corporate greed of engulfing the economy.   

The report by Unite the Union’s Profiteering Commission revealed profits of the UK’s largest companies are now 89% higher than before the pandemic, whilst the public continue to struggle against a cost-of-living crisis.

The report looked at key industries which between them are driving over 57% of inflation, covering the energy, food, automotive and transport sectors.

Challenging the government narrative that pay rises for workers are unsustainable due to inflation, the report argues that it is runaway profiting which has driven up the price of everyday household goods.

Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary, said the analysis revealed that we are living in a ‘cost of profiteering crisis’ in the UK.

She said that thousands of decision makers in major corporations have chosen to ‘take advantage and raise their prices’, with the government ‘choosing to facilitate it’.

“From price gouging to state-issued licences to run energy and utilities as monopolies, these choices have resulted in the “price spiralling” driving inflation,” Graham wrote.

“Make no mistake, profiteering has resulted in the high prices we’ve all had to pay – not workers’ wages.”

Graham said the crisis is not just the result of a ‘few bad apples’, but that it is ‘systemic across our broken system’.  

“Entire industries are choosing to take advantage of a crisis, resulting in the spiralling prices of goods we all need,” said Graham.

“It’s only by taking on runaway profiteering that we can end the cost of living crisis.

“Politicians can make different choices. It is high time they woke up to the corporate greed that is engulfing every sector of the British economy and challenged it by taking on the profiteers.”

The report comes as 500,000 workers take strike action across the country for better pay, and ahead of Jeremy Hunt revealing his Spring Budget, with hopes it will tackle inequality and reward key workers.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: Creative Common / Flickr)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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