Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Zero Hours Stories: Introduction


In my working life of 16 years I've done 36 jobs. (Lots of overlapping/ working three jobs at the same time so not as bad as it seems).
Of these jobs, 6 were abroad. For all of those I had a contract.
Of the remaining 30, two were freelance.
Of the remaining 28, 21 were Zero Hours. So 3 out of 4 jobs I've done in London at every level, from working at Greggs as a teenager to teaching in an exclusive private school, offered absolutely no guarantee of hours or pay and no security whatsoever.
In all of those jobs I had to save for my holidays because holiday pay was included as a % of hours worked and not paid in the actual holidays. In most of those jobs I got no sick pay. In many of them I have been told on a Monday there was no work for me that week or phoned at 7am and asked to come in.
The most immediate response to this is FML. Fuck knows I'm educated enough (although for the first 8 years of my working life I didn't have a degree and some of these jobs WERE student jobs.)
But actually, how come in France, Italy, Egypt, I was always given fixed working hours and a contract? Fuck the casualisation of British labour at every level. Fuck the precarity we're supposed to deal with in one of the world's most expensive cities. Fuck 'Pacification by Cappuccino' and fuck the Tories.
I've been meaning to start this project for ages. It's one story for every shitty job I've ever done. Names have been changed obvs- I may need a new Zero Hours Contract in London one day. . 

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