A million workers or more are on zero hours contracts. The contracts are designed to hold down workers’ wages, denying them holiday pay, sick pay and pensions. And they leave them unsure if they will work no hours or 50 hours in a week.
Bosses love the contracts. Sports Direct, the Institute of Directors, Balfour Beatty, McDonald’s, Wetherspoon and a string of other private sector firms use them to jack up profits.
But so do dozens of councils, many hospitals and care providers, and large numbers of employers in further and higher education.
It’s one more reason to protest against these bosses and to march on the Tories at their conference on Sunday 29 September in Manchester.
The march is focused on the NHS, but it’s also about all the attacks from this government. We’re all under the cosh.
British workers are in the midst of the longest wage squeeze since the 1870s.
David Cameron has presided over 36 months of falling real wages for workers—more than any prime minister on record.
The Tories want to slash and privatise the NHS. They want to force people into poverty and out of their homes through the bedroom tax.
At the same time they want to ruthlessly push through cuts, whip up racism, demonise disabled people and sell off Royal Mail.
All the major unions and the TUC back the demo on 29 September. Every activist, every union branch and every campaign should be there.
We have to make it a launchpad for strikes and widespread protests. These can really put the pressure on the government—and drive them out.
Teachers have announced strikes in the autumn. Civil service workers, firefighters and postal workers are considering walkouts as well. Those should be as hard-hitting as possible, and every other union should move into action too.
The Tories are weak, but they are getting away with murder. The demo in Manchester has to be the start of a real fightback.