Posts Tagged ‘employment’

El Empleo

May 4, 2015

Slaves to the system. We live in a society where people have become dehumanised, they have become commodities, things to be used.

A chilling animation, where a man awakes in the morning. He shaves, grabs his sweater, and crosses the city.

When he arrives at his workplace to begin his job, he – and all other workers – seem far from enlightened and inspired to participate in their duties.

And as such, as soon as the man reaches his workspace, he lays down flat and begins to function as a doormat for people to trample upon.

Uber taxi drivers, provide the capital, but all they are are serfs, at the command of an an app, as are many people in what is jokingly described as the sharing society, only it is not.

Chinese workers toil away in sweatshops to produce Apple devices. Apple has an income stream of $1 billion a week, that flows into offshore tax heavens. Apple Inc, has to borrow money to pay its shareholders.

Is this all we aspire to, to be dehumanised individuals, isolated from each other, whilst others reap the rewards?

That is what it will be if David Cameron wins five more years to finish the job. The job being austerity, the excuse for Shock Doctrine, a neo-liberal agenda of burn more fossil fuels, slash and burn of public services, cut benefits, transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.

That is what it will be if ToryLite aka Labour does not form a loose alliance with Plaid Cymru, SNP and the Green Party.

But it does not have to be. People can say no. They can join forces with each other, form networks alliances, create social enterprises, open coops, collaborative commons.

Unemployed forced to take zero hours jobs or be sanctioned for three months

May 6, 2014

Just when you think the evil ConDem government cannot sink any lower in their abuse of the poor, the sick, the unemployed, they have.

Unemployed are being forced to take zero hours jobs. If they refuse they will be sanctioned for three months, that is they will suffer a loss of benefits for three months.

The government is planning to force people who are out of work to take zero hours jobs, or face losing their benefits.

Zero hours means what it says, no guarantee of work, you could be zero hours one week, 60 hours the next week. No guarantee of work, no job security.

No one should be forced to take these jobs. Bills do not operate on zero hours, rent, fuel bills, food, still has to be paid for every week.

This is the situation that over one million people currently out of work in the UK will soon be facing. If they don’t apply for, and accept, ‘suitable’ zero hours jobs they could lose their benefits. Even though these jobs offer no guaranteed hours and no security.

After hearing from thousands of people, business minister Vince Cable carried out a review of zero hours contracts.

He’s already said that there’s “clear evidence of abuse”. Yet another part of his own government is ploughing ahead with changes which could potentially force more people onto these contracts.

Please email the minister responsible, Esther McVey, to demand a stop to these plans until the government’s own findings are released?

No one should be forced into McJobs, soul destroying, de-skilled, mind numbing, temporary, part-time, low pay, no security, zero hours.

Finding work is becoming increasingly hard. Most people just want a job that’s secure with a regular wage. But being forced to take a job on a zero hours contract could jeopardise that. If you don’t know what days you’re working from week to week, it’s hard to arrange interviews for a more secure role.

Last year lots of 38 Degrees members shared their personal experiences of zero hours contracts. It was pretty shocking. Some had been forced to work extra hours for free. Some were threatened with reduced hours for taking a day off sick. Some were disciplined for questioning these bullying tactics.

For some, zero hours contracts offer flexibility and the perfect way of working. But for others, ‘flexibility’ actually means job insecurity and exploitation.

Please to email the employment minister and tell her to rethink her plans?

Together, we can demand the government sort out zero hours contracts. But before that, we need to make sure they don’t force the unemployed into exploitative and insecure jobs.

Zero-hour contracts and other bad employment practices

September 2, 2013

Recently we saw the number of jobs rising, unemployment falling, meanwhile the economy collapsing. How was this possible, was it an illusion?

Neo-Labour found it was very easy to rig the unemployment figures. Force the unemployed into scam training courses, boot camps for the unemployed, run by A4E, CDC, Working Links, stop benefits for anyone who refuses.

At a stroke this got rid of the long-term unemployed, massaged the unemployment figures, as those forced onto these courses were also obliged to sign off the unemployment register as technically they were no longer unemployed, they were in training.

Professionals to unqualified who were illiterate and innumerate and could barely communicate, white collar workers to murderers and rapists, would spend the day idling their time waiting to be released. This constituted training. They were obliged to apply for several jobs each and every day, failure to do so would result in sanctions, ie benefits being withheld anything up to six months. This overloaded employers with bogus job applications. Bullying was widespread both by staff and between inmates which not only was condoned by staff but actively encouraged. If anyone did manage to find a job, the companies running the boot camps would claim the credit and get a fat bonus from government.

It was a nice gravy train for those who got the contracts.

David Blunkett, former Secretary of State for Employment, sat on the board of one of these companies. Conflict of interest?

We will always have unemployment, it is a feature of a free market economy. There will always be people who are unemployable.

Employment should be seen as a sabbatical, an opportunity to try something new, with the government providing the funding to add additional skills, to transfer skills to a new area.

Job Centres do nothing to help the unemployed, they simply harass people off the unemployment register to meet targets.

Should you be ill, an unqualified clerk will know better than a hospital consultant qualified in the field, that you are fit for work. A task now being carried out by Atos, who were sponsors of the London 2012 Paralympics.

A friend was very ill. She was under two consultants, they and her doctor said she was not fit for work. The Job Centre decided otherwise.

That the numbers of jobs appear to be growing is an illusion due to the casualisation of work and the creation of part-time jobs. Workers are having to string together two or more part-time jobs to make ends meet.

Employers like casual, part-time workers as the workers have less rights, no social security to pay.

For some part-time work is better, for example a mother with young children, can drop the kids off at school, put in a few hours, then pick them up on the way home from work.

For a coffee shop, part-time workers can supplement full-time workers during peak periods.

One of the most pernicious forms of employment are zero-hours contracts.

Naomi Klein in her seminal work No Logo, brought to wider public attention the appalling working conditions at Starbucks. During a slack period workers would be told to sign off, then sign back on again when busy. A worker could be on site for ten hours but only get paid for two hours.

Part-time you know how many hours you have to work, say 20 hours a week, similarly for full-time workers they know they will be working a 30-hour week. With a zero-hours contract, no hours are specified or guaranteed. You work when required, but are expected to be on call, you may not even be able to leave the premises.

Zero-hour contracts are not unlawful, though should be and it begs the question why Trade Unions are not acting to outlaw these contracts.

No one is forced to work zero-hours contracts. If people refused to agree to them these contracts would die out.

The Independent has a blog from a worker complaining at his zero hours contract. The solution is simple, do not work under a zero-hours contract. If you behave like a victim you cannot complain if your are victimised.

I asked of Costa were they using zero-hours contracts. I was told no. What happens if there is a slack period? Staff are sent home. Are they paid? No.

There is one step worse than zero hours contract, slave labour, unemployed being forced to work for nothing.

The ConDem government has taken the neo-Labour boot camps one stage further and has introduced Workfare, unemployed are forced to work for nothing, if they refuse their benefits are stopped. Companies benefiting from slave labour include Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Poundland and Primark.

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