Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/869/21384
From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2015
Workers racked by 19% rise in zero-hour contracts
Daniel Smart, zero-hour contract worker
Over the last year, the number of workers on zero-hour contracts has increased by almost a fifth. Many workers, particularly young people, lead a life not knowing how much work they will get from each week to the next.
New figures by the Office for National Statistics show a rise in the precarious contracts from 624,000 to 744,000 last year. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The Trade Union Congress estimates there are a further 820,000 people 'underemployed' - not getting enough hours.
Like many, I have experienced the anxiety of life on a zero-hour contract. Shifts were cancelled by text at the last moment. I have been forced to wait for emails saying a few hours here and there are available on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Worker can be pitted against worker in a desperate competition for shifts. Is this not the modern-day equivalent of waiting outside the factory gates hoping to be picked for a day's work?
Perhaps the Tories' three million apprenticeships promised over the next five years will give some consolation to young workers? It looks unlikely when these are overwhelmingly in low-skilled jobs - such as street cleaners and warehouse assistants.
This is a thinly veiled attempt to allow employers to undermine wages whilst massaging unemployment figures. Bosses can legally pay apprentices as little as £2.73 an hour.
The Socialist Party fights for guaranteed hours for all workers who want them. We also campaign for investment in useful jobs - and a £10 an hour minimum wage now, with no exceptions.
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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 9 September 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Huge support for Corbyn: now build austerity fightback
Solidarity with refugees - Defend the right to asylum
125,000 renters abused by idle parasite landlords
Heartless Tories chop funds for life-extending cancer drugs
Tories allow bosses to keep exploiting workers at below the minimum wage
Them & Us
Bromyard Community Hospital victory
International socialist news and analysis
Cuba at a crossroads
International news in brief
Socialist Party features
How students can fight debt, cuts and sell-offs
Children suffer as the cuts deepen
Workplace news and analysis
Lobby the trade union leaders this Sunday!
Nominate a fighting socialist for Unison general secretary
Most important TUC Congress for decades
Pizza express tips victory
Buses fightback works in Sheffield
Great support for bus strike
Workplace news in brief
Fight against blacklisting in Liverpool
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Film Review: Stonewall
Why I joined the Socialist Party
"NHS saved my life"
The Socialist 9 September 2015 |
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