Zero Hours

06 August 2013

Mick Whelan has spoken out after new research revealed that one million people are now working on controversial zero hours contracts.

Mick said: ‘This is what Ricky Tomlinson and Des Warren and the Shrewsbury 24 fought against – and were wrongly imprisoned for – 24 years ago. They fought against the “lump” in the building trade. And they have been vindicated.’

A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel reveals that as many as 4% of men and women in the workforce are now on zero hours contracts. These contracts, also known as casual contracts, allow employers to ‘hire’ workers with no guarantee of actually giving them any work – or actually paying them. They mean employees work only ‘as and when they are needed’ by employers, according to the CBI, and are paid only for the hours they work. Zero hours contracts offer employees no security, and no financial stability. They make it harder – and sometimes impossible – to get a credit card or a mortgage without the guaranteed income of the traditional employment contract.

Mick said: ‘People who work on zero hours contracts have no choice. Or, at least, no real choice. They are not accepting a job on a zero hours contract in preference to a proper job with proper wages and a proper contract. They are accepting a zero hours contract instead of having no job at all. And employers know that. Bosses who offer workers zero hours contracts are exploiting them. Why? Because they know they can.

‘That is the culture of the workplace this Conservative-led coalition has put in place. The Tories represent the boss class and the boss class wants to be able to hire and fire at will. That’s why they hate trade unions – the Tories and the bosses – because the unions defend the working men and women of this country.’

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