Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/879/21764

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2015

A day in the life of a Game retail worker

"Zero-hour contract means I struggle to make my rent"

A Game worker

I wish I could describe a standard working day but being on a zero-hour contract, days are anything but standard.

Due to midnight launches, late night shopping days and special events with early opening times, I am expected to be ready to work anywhere between the hours of 5am and 3am. Often I will be called up with only a couple of hours' notice to cover a shift if somebody goes sick.

There is no consistency in how many hours I will work, sometimes it's over 16 hours which means I'm no longer entitled to job seekers' allowance or housing benefit but often my hours drop below this meaning I have to go through the laborious process of applying again, having only just signed off.

Frustrating

This is even more frustrating when I'd happily work full-time if I could just be given the hours. Instead I spend my free time looking for supplementary jobs (impossible considering how flexible I have to be) and explaining to assessors my ever changing situation.

I can't plan my social life as my hours are never regular and I'm forced to accept any shift offered because if I don't, management will put me at the bottom of the list of people to ask.

I struggle each month to make my rent and I'm constantly on edge wondering if I will have enough left over each month to be able to afford more than one or two meals a day. I go into work sick, tired and often hungry and sometimes work up to seven hours straight with no breaks.

Due to lower level managers and supervisors being salaried, they often work more than 20 extra hours a week just to ensure that all tasks are completed. If staff were employed on genuinely full-time contracts the workplace would be far less daunting. But often you're left with a contradictory situation where most of the staff are complaining that they don't get enough hours while others are grumbling that they work too many unpaid hours and feel unappreciated and exploited.

Staff are cynically employed on minimal contracted hours and are pitted against each other. More hours are only offered to those who have the most sales, complete the most unpaid hours of extra training and be the most flexible with their hours.

The ones that don't adapt to this fast-paced, highly competitive environment just get their four or eight hours a week. There's nothing that can be done about this as that's all they are contractually entitled to.

Insecure

Unions need to reach out to this ever-growing layer of insecure workers.

We need a 10 an hour minimum wage now and at the same time, an end to zero-hour contracts. Many young workers have recently been attacked in the press, particularly by the Tories for being lazy, unproductive and unwilling to work. Give me enough hours and a wage I can genuinely live on and I will happily work it.

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


In The Socialist 18 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

How to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity

We can defeat the Tory cuts!

Tories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Councils won't spend a penny

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

The end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?

How can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?


International socialist news and analysis

Paris terror attacks


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors: first strikes in 40 years

Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs

Historic London bus drivers' agreement

Reinstate sacked CWU reps

Pro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members

Support for Roger Bannister in Unison election

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments and reviews

All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike

A day in the life of a Game retail worker

Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"

Robert Tressell's characters are all too real to me

My struggle for an income I can live on


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour bans union activist

Thousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism

Strike to save Lambeth libraries

Gaining momentum in Lewisham

Anger at care home closure


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 November 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Retail:

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleThree-week Argos distribution strike

Workers:

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleBernie's book shows need for workers' party

triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

Young workers:

triangleThem & Us

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

triangleYoung workers in unions earn 20% more

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleCapitalism and human progress

Minimum wage:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The campaign for a 10 an hour minimum wage

Jobs:

triangleMerseyrail protest

Environment:

triangleMay's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

Housing:

triangleHaringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

14/2/18

Homeless

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street

14/2/18

Pay

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

7/2/18

Socialist

The Socialist inbox

7/2/18

Cinema

Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

7/2/18

Revolution

Bernie's book shows need for workers' party

7/2/18

Students

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

7/2/18

NHS

Tragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

7/2/18

Sexism

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

31/1/18

Cricket

Capitalism v cricket

31/1/18

Film

Trump as Nixon: urgent questions about press freedom and the state

31/1/18

Sexism

Presidents Club sexism scandal: what you thought

24/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

24/1/18

Universal Credit

Universal credit: set up to fail

24/1/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

19/1/18

Carillion

Carillion and the construction industry

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999