Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/810/18573
No support for zero-hour contracts
Young people fighting back
Helen Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs
With zero-hour contracts hitting the headlines again I got a phone call from Sky News asking if I would be interviewed as I used to work on a zero-hour contract.
A car picked me up to take me to the studio. The driver asked why I was going on the TV and we discussed how few opportunities young people have nowadays. He was shocked to hear about zero-hour contracts and thought they were a disgrace.
In the studio the make-up artist talked to me about the barrage of attacks on young people. She thought it was good that young people were standing up to low pay and poor working conditions. We spoke about the 15Now campaign in the US and the strikes by McDonalds workers there.
The taxi driver had waited for me outside and said he thought the interview was good. As he drove me back we discussed the importance of the right to strike and protecting jobs. He said that although his job was impacted by the RMT strike on London Underground he still supported it and we discussed how inaccessible the tube network is for disabled people.
Then the cost of renting a home in London came up. I have been pushed further and further away from central London to find lower rents. His children have struggled just the same.
The only person who didn't seem to think zero-hour contracts were such a bad idea was the interviewer: "Aren't you lucky to have any job at all in these hard times?" Living in uncertainty, unable to afford a decent home isn't 'lucky', it's proof of the failures of this capitalist system and successive governments of austerity.
In The Socialist 7 May 2014:
Socialist Party election campaigning
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns