“It is unanimously accepted in a civilised world that to show respect to other people is only common decency, so why is it some employers feel the need to treat their employees badly. In my experience our industry is one of the worst purveyors of bad employment practices – it has to change and we have to lead by example!” – Chris Smallwood MD Anchor Removals Ltd
My name is Chris Smallwood I am the Owner of Anchor Removals Ltd a small family removals business. I came from a low earning family, in a poor area, with a very strong working-class, socialist upbringing. I left school in the 1980s Thatcher era of high unemployment with only a couple of qualifications and came into the furniture moving industry as a last resort. Ever since I have been driven by wanting to change the face of the industry even as a young trainee operative. Lifting furniture up and down stairs, loading it safely onto lorries and making sure everything is protected is a job of great physical demands and skill, yet often looked down on by the public and unappreciated by their own employers. I was struck by the lack of good (or most of the time) any training for such a physical and demanding job, with no skills or formal manual handling training, leading to serious and persistent back injuries for many including myself, that inhibits me to this day. I was also struck by the poor wages and conditions for workers within the industry and with the way it operated as such a traditional industry caught in the 1970s style conflicts of worker versus management mentality. Zero hours or temporary short term contracts are rife to this day. Having progressed through the ranks I took over Anchor Removals in 2008, using my own bad experiences as a guide how not to run a business. I returned to my core beliefs of Social Justice and compassion to create a working environment that I hope will be the envy of the industry. My goal is to show that engaging and rewarding your staff is not only good for business but is good for the customer, the community, the environment whilst showing that we can make a profit.