Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Abuse Of Zero Hours Contracts.

      The use of zero hours contracts is on the increase, and from the employer's point of view, it is obvious why. You can dump workers for a few days and then call them back for few hours, when ever you feel the need. The employer simply has no responsibility to the worker, but the worker has a responsibility to turn up when demanded or get fired. A one sided system that greatly benefits the employer, but simply abuses the employee. It removes the possibility of managing your financial affairs, since you have no idea how much you will earn from week to week. You could be hit with weeks or months on a few days wages a week, but the bills keep coming in at the same pace and are increasing week on week as energy and food prices keep climbing.


      If we keep the same economic system then you can rest assured the zero hours contracts are here to stay and will become the norm, no matter where you are employed. We can boycott the employers that use this serf style employment system, and campaign against it. However the only way to guarantee the end to employer abusing employee is to get rid of the system of capitalism and create a workers controlled economic system, that sees to the needs of all our people and not to the greed of a bunch of parasitic employers.

Stop abusing zero hour contracts

      I have been working at the Hollister store now since May. What I have witnessed has been a clear violation of workers’ rights. The companies Hollister and Gilly Hicks are sister companies of Abercrombie and Fitch. I work for the flagship Hollister store in Regent Street. Being a flagship store, it should be setting an example to all other stores about its employment ethics, but it’s not.
At the beginning of December all overnight staff were told their shifts are being dropped to one a week and the hours shortened to four hour shifts instead of five hours.
        People working twenty - thirty hours a week have now been told they will only work four hours, eight if they're lucky. Staff who have been working for up to three years have been told to "get on with it" and accept the change. All of these people are on zero hour contracts, meaning the company has no obligation to them and that the employees have very little rights.
This is completely unethical. Abercrombie are standing by this injustice, in the name of zero hour contracts.
      People that work for Abercrombie are dependent on the reliability of shifts that have been given to them over the year. And without notice this has been taken away from them, because they were forced to go on zero hour contracts. Some were forced on zero hour contracts with no formal consent.
No information was given as to why these cutbacks have happened, just that the workers, me included, have to get on and accept it. This has left people worried about paying rent and bills. So close to Christmas. It’s saddening and completely unethical.
      Most of the overnight work force are migrants relying on this job as their main income. Young people and mothers will now be spending Christmas in London with no financial security.
     What’s worse is that Abercrombie are employing more overnight staff. Twenty were employed last week. Surely with cutbacks being made, employing more staff is the last thing they should do?
     A zero hour contract is supposed to give people flexibility, but Abercrombie are abusing this and taking advantage of their powerless staff. They have abused legalities to suit them, with no care for the workers which depend on them, this is cruel and saddening.
In order to give people that feel silenced a voice at Abercrombie I have set up this petition, please join our fight for ethics and the abolishment of the exploitative zero hours contract.
What we want:
     Abolish the zero hours contract and adopt a part time contract. Provide at least a months notice of any drastic changes to the workplace and schedules

By Charles Mason, London.

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