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John Lewis should be a gift for our politicians

IT saddens me to hear the news that partners who work for the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) will be receiving a 15% bonus on their salaries in lieu of profits made.

JLP is a company where every employee is a partner and any profits made will go not to shareholders, but to employees. This is an annual event and bonuses usually vary between 15% and 20% of salary.

I am saddened, because the powers-that-be at Stormont, through their short-sighted attitude, passed up an opportunity for the creation of up to 1,000 well-paid, private-sector jobs – something much sought-after in the province.

I worked as a senior manager in department stores for more than 35 years in England and JLP were always held up as the exemplar of the correct way to run a company, in terms of fair wages, opportunities for promotion and the excellent way they look after their staff.

The Luddites will always bring up the loss of jobs in the High Street, but all businesses stand, or fall, on what they offer their customer.

To counter that argument, successful companies, like JLP, attract a cluster of new, innovative businesses around them, and thereby create further employment.

I do hope that, if this company is resilient enough to renew its interest in the province, it is not met again with a wall of dinosaurs unable to recognise a gift-horse when they see one.

JERRY KEVAN

Bangor, Co Down

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