Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/703/13662

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2012

Tough conditions for agency workers

I am 23 and have been unemployed for four months. Prior to this, I was working in an unskilled job as a temporary worker for a higher education institution.

Recruitment agencies employing temporary workers have increasingly become a fact of life. It is estimated that only around 5% of current vacancies are for full-time permanent positions.

Agencies are used to undercut the terms, conditions and wages of permanent staff. It can provoke a 'divide and rule' tension among workers, as temps start to resent the permanent staff, who are usually better paid and may be in more responsible positions.

Some unions seem reluctant to represent agency workers. When I talked to colleagues about being involved in a union, most did not believe that the union could do anything, and some did not even think they were allowed to join.

Agencies are often appallingly run. For people who chose to work bank holidays, they would receive only the usual rate. At my workplace, a fourth shift was added, for a derisory extra 50p an hour, despite the fact that those working it would be doing, in some cases, a 60-hour week. I could barely manage a 45-hour week because I had a one and a half hour commute, as I could find no jobs in my local area!

Nonetheless it was not uncommon for the agency to ring me up and ask me to come in for a shift which was due to start in half an hour. Yet people who could not attend a shift could face dismissal if they did not inform them the previous day!

Wages of 6 or 7 an hour are barely enough to get by on, especially when shifts are so erratic, making it difficult to plan the week. Many of my colleagues had families which made an already impossible situation even worse.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 February 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

Trade unionists and socialists prepare for May elections

What is the point of Labour MPs?

Dead end in Davos

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Don't let the racist EDL divide us

Disabled protesters demand scrapping of 'welfare' bill

Haringey takes action against academies

Coventry: Re-elect Dave Nellist


Socialist Party youth and students

NUS: name the day for student walkout

Save Derbyshire youth services!

Only one in six 'vacancies' real

Tough conditions for agency workers

South East Wales youth plan new campaigns


International socialist news and analysis

EU summit - no capitalist solutions to the spiralling eurozone crisis

Interview: the Tunisian revolution one year on


Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions battle: Unions must campaign for coordinated strike action in March

London Docklands transport workers win Olympics deal

Unison pensions cowardice

Remploy workers fight privatisation

Jet tanker drivers continue strike action

Workplace news in brief


The Socialist - readers' comments

Debate: Should socialists support the HS2 rail line?

Are the Greens a real alternative?

Smacking not the answer

Obituary: Gwenda Beishon


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Agency workers:

triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

triangleStreet cleaners support the Birmingham bin strike

triangleBin workers stand firm

triangleBin workers' anger boils over into strike action

triangleExploited agency workers organise

Union:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Jobs:

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

triangleBalloting members on the pay cap

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2