Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/683/12683
Part time workers and the great job con
The Activist is produced by Socialist Party members in the retail and distribution union, Usdaw.
A worker recently sent in the following letter:
Just over a year ago, I took a job with one of the giants in retail. I was offered a seven-hour contract. But I regularly worked over 30 hours a week - not a great wage but at least I got by.
I was annoyed when full-time workers left and they were replaced by other workers on similar contracts to me.
However there was a catch. When I took my holiday, I was paid for only seven hours rather than an average of the hours I worked each week.
Now I have been informed that the store's budget has been cut and the hours I worked are no longer available - now I can't get by.
Surely what is happening to us part-time workers is wrong. But when I ask at work what the union is doing about it - no one knows.
As a union we should be opposing this new exploitation and there are thousands who would join the union if there was a real fight.
A retail worker
With very few full-time jobs available, more and more workers are being forced to take part-time work.
The latest employment figures show 1.26 million people work part-time - the highest number since records began.
The bosses are using part-time jobs to control the workforce and reduce wage bills.
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In The Socialist 31 August 2011:
Fighting public sector cuts
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review