Young workers say: Zero hours no way!

Claire Laker-Mansfield

“Zero-hours no way, decent jobs and decent pay”, was the slogan shouted outside the bosses’ CBI headquarters in London on 5 November.

The protest, targeting an organisation which represents a whole host of zero-hour contract employers, was part of a national day of action organised by the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign.

Around the country, protests and stunts were organised, particularly targeting the (now infamous) company Sports Direct, who employ over 90% of staff on zero-hour contracts.

In Shirebrook, Derbyshire, the headquarters of this multimillion pound company was hit with a protest. Stores were also targeted in Exeter, Chester and Manchester.

In Sheffield, Youth Fight for Jobs decided to highlight the tax-dodging Arcadia group’s treatment of their low-paid staff, with Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton’s and BHS all hit by ‘kamikaze leafleting’ , following a protest against zero-hour contracts at the CeX Entertainment exchange in the city.

These were lively and vibrant protests – in some cases crowds of shoppers gathered around to listen to speeches, sign petitions and even join in with some chanting.

At CBI HQ protesters attempted to occupy the offices but were prevented by the police and security guards.

At many of the shops hit by protests a visible nervousness was present among store managers, who often sent security to stand guard at the shop.

And given the anger and frustration that exists among low-paid zero-hour workers, it’s no wonder!

As well as organising this protest day, YFJ also took part in a number of the People’s Assembly ‘burn austerity’ events.

There, we helped liven things up, bringing megaphones and getting some chanting going on.

Youth Fight for Jobs now plans to continue to escalate the campaign against zero-hour contracts and low-paid insecure work through the ‘Sick of your Boss initiative’.

Unionised Hovis workers have shown zero-hours can be beaten. Join YFJ and get involved in the fightback today.

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