Socialist Worker

Bosses get us to work for free

by Chris Bambery
Issue No. 2184

More than five million workers “gave away” £27.4 billion in unpaid overtime last year, averaging a record £5,400 per person, a new study by the Trades Union Congress reveals.

The average amount of unpaid work was seven hours 12 minutes every week – the highest since records began in the late 1990s.

Nearly 900,000 regularly worked more than ten hours a week for free.

The number of young men entering low paid, unskilled jobs is on the rise.

A new report by academics at Sheffield Hallam and Dundee universities shows that more young men are working in call centres and in the leisure and catering industries.

These are jobs that, 20 years ago, were mainly done by women.

Meanwhile, the same study shows that the number of women on incapacity benefit has soared.

Around 60 percent of both men and women on incapacity benefit have no formal qualifications and previously worked in manual jobs.

The study found that the rise is linked to male unemployment – as women and men at the bottom of the labour market are competing for jobs that are not there.

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Tue 12 Jan 2010, 18:09 GMT
Issue No. 2184
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