Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Zero Contracts

How ironic that Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has 90% of his staff on zero hour contracts and also happens to be the owner of Newcastle United who are sponsored by the pay-day loan company Wonga.
That's a nice tie in for the club and the loan business as the very existence of zero-hours contracts means that Ashley supplies the customers for his sponsor by using these unfair employment contracts.
A Zero contract is where you agree to be available at all times to work for an employer, but are not guaranteed any work at all so they put the employee's life at the disposal of the employer with no employment rights, protections or guaranteed pay so you don't know what your pay will be at the end of the month making it impossible to budget or even know if your wages will cover your minimum needs.
You cannot work part time elsewhere because then you may not be available to give the employer the hours they want you for meanwhile the government is able to boasts about how many people are now 'employed' while the taxpayer picks up the bill for subsidising the unfortunate employees who aren't paid enough to live on.
The Government have now agreed to review the use of Zero Hour contracts but that is just an excuse to kick the whole thing into the long grass, what we need is the Labour Party to shout long and loud to expose them for what they are, an abuse by the employer exploiting the workers.
I remember a time when Labour used to be all over that and this is a chance to prove that they are on the side of the workers, not the rich business owners.

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