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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 October 2014

A day in the life of an agency worker

Insecurity and exploitation

An agency worker

I wake up at 5.30am, throw on the uniform I spent my last pay cheque buying, leave at 6am to arrive at the pick up at 6.30am. If I'm late I risk losing not just one shift, but all future ones.

When I get there I'm informed that I won't be getting the three hours travel pay I was promised for the six hours travelling. Staff hang around, sharing stories of missing pay and 19 hour shifts. We wait for the coach - fortunately only 20 minutes - far less than the hour and a half last time. We finally leave at 7.10am for the three hour journey.

We arrive and it's work on a bar, not the waiting shift I was told about. Still, I learn quickly and keep up till a 20 minute break after seven hours where we are treated to a hot meal. I lose the first five minutes finishing up and rush to the dinner queue. By the time I sit down I have five minutes to eat the food as fast as possible and get back to my workstation. Still, only a few hours left.

At 6.25pm I'm signed off as 6.15pm. I grab my stuff and go to the coach where we wait for all the staff to finish their shifts. Now I have access to my phone I spend the time applying for as many shifts as I can for tomorrow.

Finally at 8pm we set off for the three hour journey back.

Youth Fight for Jobs demands:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 1 October 2014:


International socialist news and analysis

No to imperialist war

US led bombings will worsen divisions

Hong Kong: "umbrella revolution" changes everything


Socialist Party news and analysis

More brutal cuts from the imploding Tories

Labour: no real alternative

Housing - a history of class struggle

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Pay cuts: Angry and ready to strike!

Local government pay: Reject employers' proposal

Hove Park victory: academies can be stopped

Doncaster Care UK workers start record strike

Continuing Bob Crow's legacy after RMT election

CWU's political fund and political voice


Socialist Students

York University - Student housing letting agency victory

Round up: Socialist Students at the freshers fairs

What party should students vote for?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Support the E15 mums

Scotland is in a party joining mood

Fire and rescue... rescued

Wet books: send bucks!


Readers' comments and reviews

Labour's housing failure

A day in the life of an agency worker

Film review: Still the enemy within


 

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Related links:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

triangleBFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

triangleDay of action against poverty pay: 10 now!

Pay:

trianglePCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

triangleFurlough: We are not 'all in the same boat'

triangleReject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation

triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

Food:

trianglePrivate firm causes weeks of delay to free school meal vouchers: bring it back in-house!

trianglePPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Food supply and the coronavirus crisis

Trade unions:

triangleStay alert to bosses putting profit before safety

triangleSocial partnership is an attempt to shackle trade unions and prevent industrial action

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