There is a lot of talk just now about “zero hours” contracts, as soon as you debate the matter you give it some legitimacy, as far as the ordinary people are concerned this con deserves no debate and has no legitimacy. You don't have to look back into the distant Dickensian history to find the deprivation caused by this casualisation of labour. Up until the end of the second World War it was a common scene to see people huddled outside factories and docks in the early hours in all weathers, hoping to get picked for a few hours casual work. Those who got picked felt themselves lucky and got a few hours work and would turn up the next day hoping to be lucky again. As for those who didn't get picked, well they could run to the next nearest workplace and hope to be picked there. Or they could just go home and try again next day. It was Attlee's government in 1947 that introduced the National Dock Labour Scheme in an attempt to give some sort of job security. Of course the employers and the usual rightwing millionaire class railed against it, and labelled it as a hindrance to business and a “job for life”. Of course they never forget and in 1989 Thatcher's government abolished the NDLS.
The figures for those on “zero hours” contracts is put at 1 million+ and growing, it is another step towards the sweatshop Europe. The only difference between the hordes standing outside workplaces in that age of severe deprivation, and those on these contracts, is that they don't have to stand in groups outside, they can sit at home waiting for the phone to ring. When it does ring you could be offered anything from three or four hours work or a few days. You have no idea how much you will earn in any given week, it is impossible to budget for essentials. What is more, you are off the unemploymet records.
How do you manage your affairs and tend to your familes needs if you are never sure just how many hours you will work and therefore no idea what your weekly wage will be? You could turn up eager, bright and early and after a few hours work things go quiet, so your boss tells you just go home and come back after teatime, or “I'll phone you when I need you”. This is the type of society that the corporate world are doing there damndest to create, you are a unit that can be used, or stored at your own expense, until you are needed again. A workforce of casual workers always on tap to suit the needs of big business. This is the road to insecurity and deprivation, but it is the road that we are being lead down as our corrupt political class do the bidding of the financial Mafia and the corporate cabal. They are nearing their dream, of a sweatshop Europe, is it your dream? If not, why can't we realise our dream, instead of them realising theirs?