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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 April 2014

Zero-hour contracts damage your health

A recent report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that zero-hour contracts or flexible working generally can have a damaging effect on a worker's mental health, causing anxiety and other stress related disorders.

A fast food worker in Wales describes the stresses and strains of this exploitative practice.

"Having been on a zero-hour contract myself and worked with others on them I can confirm the findings of the report from first-hand experience.

Not knowing if you will get enough hours and earn enough money from one week to the next in order to pay bills and buy food causes high stress levels for a worker and their family if they have one.

You live with a constant feeling of insecurity and have no chance of relaxing when you could be called in at a moment's notice or risk being fired.

While some workers will prefer to be on a flexible contract, low wage, insecure zero-hour contracts with very little employment rights should be scrapped.

Workers who opt for flexibility should be guaranteed a minimum number of hours each week and should play a far greater part in deciding when to work their hours with their boss.

A trade union body should be set up to ensure this process is not abused by employers."


Fast Food Rights - International Day of Protest, 15 May.

Involving industrial action by low paid workers in the USA and protests organised by campaigners in the UK including the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union and Youth Fight For Jobs (YFJ).

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 23 April 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Hungry Britain: Fight for jobs and a living wage for all

New figures reveal capitalism in crisis - not recovery

Scotland: Capitalist 'Project Fear' backfiring?

Why is there a housing crisis?

Zero-hour contracts damage your health

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Building Socialist Alternative in the United States

China: labour disputes soar


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Over 550 TUSC no-cuts candidates in place


Socialist Party workplace news

Every job matters: Support the Tube workers' strike

Care UK workers stepping up the action

Don't let Gove wreck education!

Rail workers prepare for action

CWU conference: Renationalise Royal Mail!

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

In the fight to defend our NHS, know your enemy

The Broad Left Organising Committee

Workers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

25 years after Hillsborough


 

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Related links:

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleLabour and the fight for a shorter working week

triangleWorkplace victory emboldens retail workers to get organised

triangleTrade union action can end low pay

triangleLaughable research denies low-pay scandal

triangleInterview with a shop worker

Food:

triangleCovid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

triangle300 Covid cases at Northampton food plant - management to blame, not the workers!

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

triangleNews in brief

Stress:

triangleGCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

triangleTeacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

Bakers:

triangleWandsworth Town McDonald's strike protest. Tuesday 12th November 2019. Photo Isai Priya

triangleMcStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference

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