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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 May 2014

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.

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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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In The Socialist 7 May 2014:


Socialist Party election campaigning

Fight cuts, Back strikes, Vote TUSC

More local news coverage for TUSC, but BBC downplays council elections

Join the TUSC Thunderclap

Defend the right to campaign

Why I'm standing for TUSC

Housing crisis: TUSC candidates demand socialist policies

Election appeal 2014 - 4,278 raised so far


Socialist Party feature

Prepare for almighty battles against austerity


International socialist news and analysis

$15: Seattle shows what a movement can achieve


Socialist Party news and analysis

Schools - Would things get better under Labour?

Private sector rents and Labour

Care homes abuse scandals

Pfizer takeover bid

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

RMT forces London Underground to back down

Striking against Land Registry cuts

Care UK workers start 14 days of strike action

CWU conference - time to build Broad Left

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We can scrap zero-hour contracts

No support for zero-hour contracts

RMT turns out in strength for May Day march

May Day rallies in Swansea and Ipswich

Battling the cuts: when push comes to shove

Freedom riders on a storm

Leeds protest against privatisation of student loans


 

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