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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2007

Flexible hours? Suits you sir!

Like many students starting university this year, the idea of a 22,000 debt over my head is a shocking one. This summer, in an attempt to scrape a little off this debt, I ventured into the world of casual work.

Arran Cottam, Exeter Socialist Party

Bosses and job agencies try to sell casual work as a way of making money on your terms. "Work when you want, for who you want, for how much you want" I was told by one of these agencies.

In reality casual work means workers leave their rights at the door. In one job I worked in this summer I was entering data from forms into a computer, this was often for up to ten hours a day with as little as 20 minutes break for minimum wage.

As well as this work being mind numbingly boring you were also subjected to weekly 'progress meetings' where you were taken into an office and told how fast you were working, which never seemed to be enough.

This was a blatant attempt at intimidation by sectioning-off casuals and telling them to work faster or they could easily replace you, in reality this was all to raise their profits at the expense of workers.

The other job I worked this summer was a bar job in which 14-hour shifts were not unusual.

Also because of the casual status of this work it was not uncommon to arrive at work to be told that they didn't need you and to go home.

This had to just be accepted as there is no trade union representation for casual workers. In reality this means bosses can divide the workers and exploit the results for their profits.

This is the reality for many students and workers. The Socialist Party calls for a free education system for all, for trade union rights for casual workers and a minimum living wage of 8 per hour.

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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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 20 September 2007:

Nationalise the banks

Economy hits a rock

Crisis will hit north east jobs

Time for a new party


Socialist Students

Fight for a living grant

What do youth think?

Student Socialist: Issue 5 out now!

Studying on a low wage

Flexible hours? Suits you sir!


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Our message to Labour

Swansea - no more cuts for cash


Socialist Party news

Victory! Campaign saves nursery

Medway schools

Lobby demands asylum for Sadiq


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Make Socialism 2007 an unforgettable weekend


TUC Conference

TUC conference: Workers defy Brown

Linking the struggles together


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Worker militancy shows pressing need for political voice


Socialist Party review

Consumed: How markets corrupt children, infantilise adults and swallow citizens whole


Workplace news and analysis

Remploy workers fight for jobs

Defend the Burslem 12

CWU: Further national action discussed


 

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triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

triangleCoronavirus - a students' charter

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