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From: The Socialist issue 808, 23 April 2014: Hungry Britain: Fight for jobs and a living wage for all

Search site for keywords: Zero-hour contracts - Food - Stress - Bakers

Zero-hour contracts damage your health

A recent report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that zero-hour contracts or flexible working generally can have a damaging effect on a worker's mental health, causing anxiety and other stress related disorders.

A fast food worker in Wales describes the stresses and strains of this exploitative practice.

"Having been on a zero-hour contract myself and worked with others on them I can confirm the findings of the report from first-hand experience.

Not knowing if you will get enough hours and earn enough money from one week to the next in order to pay bills and buy food causes high stress levels for a worker and their family if they have one.

You live with a constant feeling of insecurity and have no chance of relaxing when you could be called in at a moment's notice or risk being fired.

While some workers will prefer to be on a flexible contract, low wage, insecure zero-hour contracts with very little employment rights should be scrapped.

Workers who opt for flexibility should be guaranteed a minimum number of hours each week and should play a far greater part in deciding when to work their hours with their boss.

A trade union body should be set up to ensure this process is not abused by employers."


Fast Food Rights - International Day of Protest, 15 May.

Involving industrial action by low paid workers in the USA and protests organised by campaigners in the UK including the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union and Youth Fight For Jobs (YFJ).

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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