Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1049/29322

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 July 2019

Gig-economy exploitation doubles

Deliveroo workers on strike in London, photo James Ivens

Deliveroo workers on strike in London, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Ted Mooney, Liverpool Socialist Party

The 'gig economy', formerly known as 'casual labour' - and much beloved of the dock employers for hundreds of years worldwide, is on the rise. Tony Blair famously called it "the flexible workforce".

It is spreading like terminal cancer in Britain. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has reported a University of Hertfordshire survey that shows the number of employees earning their living this way has doubled since 2016 to 4.7 million people.

Most of these are young workers. One in ten workers are employed in the gig economy, three years ago it was one in 20.

The benefits of casual labour for employers is that they don't have to guarantee minimum working hours, wages, pensions and even national insurance - as workers could be classified as self-employed. There is no sickness benefit or holiday pay either.

For workers - desperate for employment to feed their families and pay the bills - there is often no option other than to take such employment.

The main culprits are not only Uber or Deliveroo, but agency workers suffer too. Men and women are employed to satisfy occasional needs of established workplaces or provide services such as cleaning.

They endure gig-economy terms and conditions, for four or five years, with a promise of a 'proper' job, providing they keep their nose clean. A discrete way of saying, no trade union activities here.

Also, many earn small fees for delivering parcels for home-shopping companies. They are paid only by the parcel they successfully deliver.

They have to return if no one is available to accept the delivery. They receive nothing for the fuel for their car.

Many workers take this type of employment to supplement their income from other, poorly paid jobs. Private-hire taxi drivers are employed to deliver goods for Amazon, between dropping off passengers.

The media, the Tories, some right-wing Labour MPs and the bosses hail this system as a welcome development, pointing out that many employees welcome it. Some workers welcome flexible working because they see no alternative because wages are so low. They need extra income.

Some have no pension to fall back on and a Zurich UK study found more pensioners working in the gig economy.

It is good news that the TUC is highlighting this archaic development. But, what are they going to do about it?

The unions should demand the right to full-time contracts and equal employment conditions. The main force capable of ending this system is the workers themselves.

What is needed is a trade union mobilisation. Workplaces should be leafleted, followed by union recruitment meetings. And industrial action to enforce the issue, if necessary.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

In The Socialist 3 July 2019:


Workplace news

Angry Usdaw members strike at Sainsbury's distribution centre over sick pay cut

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Fight for socialism

Construction workers protest in defence of union rights and against anti-worker EU

Socialists in PCS union launch new group to fight general secretary election

Steps forward and missed opportunities at Unite rules conference

London Arriva bus drivers vote for strike action over bullying and workload

Birmingham school strike for safe working environment

Lancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks


What we think

Sinister moves against Corbyn can be beaten by clear socialist policies


News

Same old millionaire Tories - Fight to kick them out

Nationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

Gig-economy exploitation doubles

Even social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Them & Us

What we saw


Stonewall riots

Stonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party secures new offices

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

Coventry says no to congestion charge

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

Stourbridge: Keep our college!


International socialist news and analysis

New opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

Irish health workers' anger boils over into strike action


Opinion

The Socialist inbox

TV: Years and Years - Engaging family drama pushes confused, reactionary message


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 July 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Economy:

triangleAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Globalisation/deglobalisation and the world economy

triangleState intervention shows what is possible

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: What would a socialist economy look like?

triangleCoronavirus: socialist planning, not capitalist chaos!

Workers:

triangleBuilding the Socialist Party

triangleNew laws: Unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests

triangleLabour must resist 'Covid coalition'

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

Union:

triangleFight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

triangleWorking from home during the pandemic

triangleBus drivers halt sackings - now restore our pay

Labour:

triangleNottingham Socialist Party: After the Labour leadership result - Do we need a new workers' party?

triangleUnion independence must be maintained - a reply to the TUC

Trade union:

triangleMore than ever, we need accountable union leaders

Pay:

triangleKey workers should make bold demands

TUC:

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network TUC rally

Young workers:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: A socialist response to the coronavirus crisis

Agency workers:

triangleScandalous conditions in food distribution centre

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

1/4/20

Coronavirus

As coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

1/4/20

Coronavirus

PPE, Tests, Full pay - for all now

1/4/20

Coronavirus

New laws: Unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests

1/4/20

Coronavirus

Labour must resist 'Covid coalition'

31/3/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus news in brief

31/3/20

Coronavirus

NHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

31/3/20

Coronavirus

Capitalism means empty shelves, food insecurity, and soaring profits - the case for a socialist alternative

31/3/20

Coronavirus

NHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

30/3/20

Coronavirus

Schools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

25/3/20

Coronavirus

We need tests for all now! Nationalise production and research

25/3/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus plunges capitalism into global turmoil

25/3/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus crisis: Tests, full pay and funding - for all now

25/3/20

Coronavirus

Union independence must be maintained - a reply to the TUC

25/3/20

Coronavirus

State intervention shows what is possible

25/3/20

Care workers

Social care: "Not good enough by miles"

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999