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Opinion : Zero hours is no way to live

| March 11, 2014


I get up early every morning and make my way into Wycombe to start yet another punishing day at work like many others.

At least yours truly is guaranteed a wage, paltry as it may be, however these days many people are on what they call ‘zero hours’ contracts.

Tied to one employer and with no definite guaranteed of an income the zero hours contract has come to symbolise everything that is wrong with modern day Britain.

Only yesterday a news article appeared on a national news size headlined ‘Zero hours concern over rail safety‘ which went on to allude that even rail maintenance workers are being offered the dreadful zero hours contracts.

What is the world coming to?

Do the employers really think the workers are like pawns in their game?

Do they not know that a worker will only perform well if they are rewarded, treated fairly and valued.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the minimum wage was introduced to make sure employers paid a fair rate for a hours work. Maybe legislation needs to be introduced to ban zero hours contracts to redress the balance?

Let me assure you that my good self knows all to well how employers exploit the workers. Indeed on the past some of my jobs have been so bad that I was even expected to work for free long into the evening when others were at home relaxing. If you didn’t work then the sack soon followed.

It’s all very well people worrying about conditions in the sweat shops of the far east where young children make clothes and poorly paid workers assemble the electronic good that drive our modern society. But what about working conditions in this country?

If an employer takes on a worker they should be guaranteed some form of work every week if they want it. Ok, so there needs to be flexibility in the workforce but the employers also need to be decent in return.

Sadly those tied to the afore mentioned zero hours contracts are unable to do much about it. If the balance is to be redressed then the politicians need to do something about it in parliament.

The sad truth is that it’s the lowest workers in society who are treated the worst. They may work for poor rates of pay and struggle to exist but is there any need for the employers to curse them with the spectre of a contract that gives no work at all?

What do you think?

*Don’t forget my blogs are published twice a week here, on the Wycombe Today site, every Tuesday evening around 8pm and late on Friday evenings.

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