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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2016

#KeepCorbyn: Fight workhouse conditions

Jeremy Corbyn speaking to one of many mass audiences, photo by Steve Score

Jeremy Corbyn speaking to one of many mass audiences, photo by Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

For a party that fights for workers

"We have record employment, but also record levels of poverty among those in work... Work for millions has become insecure and stressful. We have to change that."

This is what Jeremy Corbyn wrote in July, announcing a series of policies to protect the low-paid.

He pledged that a Labour government under his leadership would ban zero-hour contracts. And it would force companies with over 250 employees to bring back collective bargaining - negotiating pay, terms and conditions through trade unions. He also demands a 10 an hour minimum wage.

No wonder the bosses and Tories hate him. He stands with workers against their cruel working conditions and poverty pay. That's why his leadership challenge is such a threat to companies like Sports Direct, which has hit the headlines recently for its appalling practices.

'Shane Stephenson', a zero-hour warehouse worker at another 'Victorian' firm, reports on the Sports Direct struggle:

Under pressure from unions and the media, workhouse employer Sports Direct has decided to partially scrap some zero-hour contracts.

Management promises a wage slightly above the national average, and a small number of guaranteed hours.

However, even these tiny changes are only for staff directly employed by Sports Direct. The vast majority are agency workers. In the 3,200-worker Shirebrook mega-warehouse, only 6% will benefit.

Meanwhile, fat-cat boss Mike Ashley shows up to the company's 'open day' pulling over a grand in 50 notes out of his pocket at the security check-in. His joking smile showed how little this concerned him.

At the firm's annual general meeting for shareholders, Ashley claimed he had no knowledge of 'sweatshop' conditions such as the 'six-strike policy'. Employees are disciplined for simply spending time in the toilet or talking to other staff.

I'm a zero-hour contract warehouse worker for another massive retailer, B&M. A lot of things are similar. Instead of a six-strike policy, we have three strikes! The majority of B&M stores don't even have proper air conditioning. 'Sweatshop' is right.

The Socialist Party fights for


"Sports Direct's huge Shirebrook warehouse is on the site of a colliery that employed large numbers of well-paid, unionised, skilled workers. Today, thousands are employed as agency workers and on zero-hours contracts."

Jeremy Corbyn

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In The Socialist 14 September 2016:


What we think

Labour party needs democratic structures and socialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

#KeepCorbyn: Fight workhouse conditions

NHS chiefs warn cuts mean rationing or charges

Fund smaller classes - not new grammars

Benefit cap could shut 67% of women's refuges

Them & Us

What We Saw


International socialist news and analysis

New 'strongman' president threatens martial law - while leaning on left parties for support

International news in brief


Socialist Party feature

Obesity crisis: government strategy offers no solution


Workplace news and analysis

Westbourne Park bus dispute continues

NSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

Library workers defeat Tory cuts

Thousands of Post Office workers to strike against job losses

Southern Rail dispute update

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Why you should become a socialist student!

Students and workers unite to cut rents

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Join the Socialist Party - join the fightback


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Fighting fascism with motorbike stunts

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour loses byelection but Corbyn isn't the problem

Protest against closure of vital heart unit

Socialist Party members join disability rights week of action

#KeepCorbyn


 

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Related links:

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleCovid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

triangleJob Support Scheme - too little, too late

triangleLabour and the fight for a shorter working week

triangleWorkplace victory emboldens retail workers to get organised

triangleTrade union action can end low pay

Workers:

triangleReinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

triangleUniversity workers ballot for strike action

triangleFight to defend homelessness services

triangleBrighton bin workers' victory in sight against Green-led council

Pay:

triangleScunthorpe scaffs strike for pay

triangleNapo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing

triangleGwent valleys Stagecoach bus drivers strike for fair pay

Agency workers:

triangleGoodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

triangleReaders' opinion

Shirebrook:

triangleSlave labour at Sports Direct

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTen years since our 330-mile Jarrow March for Jobs

Labour:

triangleFighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool

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