The Workers Union has issued a strong rebuke to British firms, telling them to ‘stop undermining job security.’
In a statement released this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘We’re passing through a difficult economic period, where many people are struggling to pay their bills. How much worse it is for these people, then, that many of them work for operations that are content to cream off big profits while cutting back on hours, pay and conditions. The shroud of low unemployment conceals a multitude of issues, such as job insecurity, low wages and little in the way of development opportunities. This is not a sign of prosperity, it is part of a culture of exploitation that must be brought to an end.’
The statement came as research from think-tanks Autonomy and The Centre for Labour and Social Studies revealed that job insecurity has risen in almost every region, age group and gender, with “elementary occupations” (jobs that often require the use of hand-held tools and have a physical component) experiencing an “insecurity score” of over 200 percent more than senior officials and managers. The report also contends that elementary workers have seen the largest growth in job insecurity since 2005.
Elsewhere, the findings suggest that the current situation is little better for young people entering the jobs market, with the average 20-year-old experiencing 4.6 times more job insecurity than the average 60-year-old.
The Workers Union Says…
While it would be perverse to suggest that there has been little improvement in the prospects of working people since the financial crash of 2008, the fact remains that low unemployment figures hide the true extent of changes to the labour market.
Our society, with its 24-hour demand for goods and services, has reconfigured the relationship between working people and their employers to such an extent that there must now be a serious commitment to taking stock of where we are. Questions about the legitimacy of app platform work and zero hour contracts have to be asked and the hard-won rights of those that make these businesses viable must be protected.
There are robust economic and social reasons for doing so. But even more pressing, is the empathic realisation that working people, so often the engine of this country’s success, are being taken advantage of.
We want Britain to be a fair wage society that supports good quality work as a beacon for the rest of the world. UK plc must play its part in this or face the consequences of its actions.