Tag Archives: London

Protests against Tory’s austerity Queen’s Speech

  • A full list of protests can be found below. Find out why Youth Fight for Jobs is protesting at http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=1203

  • If your protest isn’t included please email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com so we can add it to the list

  • Please click attending on facebook, share the events, & most importantly join the protests on the day!

Wednesday 27th May – State opening of Parliament (Queen’s Speech)

London
4:30pm
10 Downing Street

https://www.facebook.com/events/884260928302101/

Belfast
5pm
City Hall
Organised by Socialist Youth

Bradford
5pm
Centenary Square
https://www.facebook.com/events/883870308325871/

Cardiff
5:30pm
outside Central Station
Called by Cardiff Trades Council

Coventry
5pm
Broadgate
https://www.facebook.com/events/1638344089713491/

Huddersfield
5pm
Market Cross – near McDonalds

https://www.facebook.com/events/276142532572021/

Leeds
5pm
Assemble in Victoria Gardens, outside Leeds Art Gallery & Central Library
https://www.facebook.com/events/807414962676055/

Manchester
12pm
Piccadilly Gardens
https://www.facebook.com/events/829296160489365/

Southampton
5pm
Bargate

https://www.facebook.com/events/1440871339541264/

Protests on other days

Saturday 16th May – Lincoln
1pm to 5pm
War Memorial/Boots, Lincoln High Street

https://www.facebook.com/events/832832123462047/

Zero-hour contract and minimum wage protesters take to the streets

Check out a list of the UK protests for the Global Day of Action – Wednesday 15th April below

On Wednesday 15th April, fast food and other low-paid workers in the USA will be taking part in what could be the biggest day of strikes, occupations and protests in their fight for a $15/hr minimum wage.

In Britain, the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign is working with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) in the Fast Food Rights coalition to organise solidarity protests up and down the country. Wednesday’s protests will be part of a ‘Join a Union Day’. We’re encouraging unorganised workers to get organised, so we can reverse the tide of low pay and casual work.

We are campaigning to:

  • Raise the minimum wage to £10/hr for all, with no youth exemptions
  • Scrap zero-hour contracts

London

10:30am – Marble Arch McDonald’s
12pm – East Ham high street – contact 07540189052
12pm – Poplar College
5pm-6:30pm – Whitehall McDonald’s

Birmingham
5pm – St Martins in the The Bullring

Cardiff
5pm – Meet at Nye Bevan statue

Chesterfield
6pm –  Broad Pavement McDonalds (next to market)

Coventry
11am – Meet at the Godiva statue

Darlington
12 noon–2pm Queen St Arcade McDonald’s in Northgate

Glasgow
12noon - McDonald’s (1200 Maryhill Road)
1:30pm - McDonald’s (489 Pollokshaws Road)
2:30pm - McDonald’s (Sauchiehall Sreet) then march to…
McDonald’s (209-215 Argyle Sreet, corner of Union Sreet)  from 4pm (ish) – 6pm

Ipswich
6pm – McDonald’s in the town centre

Leeds
4:30pm – Lower Briggate McDonald’s

Leicester
2pm– 6pm – Clock Tower McDonald’s, Church Gate

Liverpool
6pm – McDonalds on the corner of Church Street and Lord Street in the city centre – contact 07757207289

Nottingham
6pm - St Peter’s Gate McDonalds

Peterborough
6pm – city centre McDonald’s

Salford
12 noon – McDonald’s HQ and the McDonald’s next to it

Sheffield
Wednesday 15th April – 11:30am – High Street McDonald’s
Saturday 18th April – 11am – McDonald’s at bottom of Fargate followed by rally at 2pm in the United Reform Methodist Church on Norfolk Street with BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper

Southampton
11.30am-2pm – West Quay McDonald’s
11.30am-2pm – Shirley McDonald’s

Stoke
11am – McDonalds in Parliament Square, Hanley

Swansea
6pm outside MacDonald’s on Castle Square.

We’ll also have protests in Chester, Huddersfield and Middlesborough on Wednesday 15th April, plus Grimsby on Wednesday 22nd April, as well in Barnsley on Thursday 23rd April (12 noon – Costa in Town Centre)

for more info contact Youth Fight for Jobs on youthfightforjobs@gmail.com, if your protest isn’t on here, please send it in!

Full list of protests – Saturday 29th March

Protest March 29th!

Check out a full list of Saturday’s protest below!

Youth Fight for Jobs & Fast Food Rights Day of Action

Scrap Zero-Hour Contracts
A living wage of £10 a hour
Join a union

List of events (more to follow)

London

11 AM – Lewisham protest – meet by the Clock Tower

1.30PM – Leicester Square leafleting

5PM – Lewisham Public Meeting – Glass Mill Leisure Centre, 41 Loampit Vale, London, SE13 7FT

Shirebrook

11AM – Assemble at – Shirebrook Market Place to Target Sports Direct HQ – NG20 8AA

Birmingham

1PM – outside Primark, New Street

Brighton

12 noon – outside McDonald’s in Western Road, Brighton

Bristol

12 Noon – YFJ/ FFR Super-Stall – Meet outside BHS, Broadmead, BS1 3HB

Bolton

11AM – Victoria Square, town centre

Canterbury

11AM – Meet by Café Rouge in Canterbury city centre

Cardiff

11AM – Queen Street, Nye Bevan’s statue targeting BK, FootLocker and Costa

Carlisle

11AM – Scotch Street city centre

Chester

11AM – Chester Cross, town centre

Coventry

12 noon – Shelton Square (by Tesco in Coventry City Centre), CV1 1DG

Exeter

12 noon – Exeter High Street

Glasgow

12 noon at Sauchiehall Street McDonald’s

Huddersfield

Coming soon!

Leeds

1pm outside Briggate/Boar Lane McDonalds

Leicester

Meet 11am, the Clock Tower, Leicester Town Centre

Lincoln

12 noon – outside McDonald’s in the Cornhill, Lincoln

Liverpool

12 noon – Sports Direct – Parker Street, L1 1DJ

Manchester

11AM – Sports Direct, Market Street, M1 1PW

Newcastle

12 noon – Northumberland Street Burger King

Rochdale

12 noon- Yorkshire Street, town centre

Sheffield

11AM – top of Fargate

Southampton

11AM  – Meet outside the West Quay Shopping Centre, Above Bar Street

St Helens

11AM – Church Square, town centre

Swansea

2pm – Meet outside McDonalds on Castle Square

Wakefield

10 AM – Outside McDonalds on Kirkgate

Wigan

2pm - Standishgate, town centre

5th November – Day of Civil Disobedience: Scrap zero-hour contracts

Youth Fight for Jobs target
Sports Direct & CBI

Anti-zero-hour contract campaigners in Youth Fight for Jobs are planning to target CBI (Confederation of British Industry) headquarters, the organisation representing big business in Britain, as part of our national day of action.

As the CBI hold their annual conference, setting out the agenda of big business in the UK, young people suffering under many of their favoured employment practices will be mobilising.

3pm
Tottenham Court Road tube station
outside We Will Rock You
march to the CBI HQ at Centre Point.

Nationally, targets such as Sports Direct stores are also being hit with protests.

You can find a full list of tomorrow’s protests here: http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=884

Helen Pattison, former zero-hour contract worker and Youth Fight for Jobs London organiser said:

“5.5 million people are currently employed with less than 3 hours of guaranteed work each week. These contracts give maximum flexibility to the employers, but maximum insecurity to workers. Young people are disproportionately affected by these contracts. The Youth Fight for Jobs campaign is building the fight to put pressure on employers like Sports Direct to end this exploitation. We say that the solution to mass youth unemployment is not cramming people on to zero-hour contracts and into low paid insecure work. In reality this simply hides the problem, as thousands are counted as ‘employed’ when often they have little or no hours of work each week. The CBI have been staunch defenders of zero-hour contracts and little wonder. Freedom of exploitation by the bosses leads to higher profits and further lines the pockets of the super-rich 1%. Tomorrows protest will send them a clear message: we’re willing to fight back.”

Campaigners also plan to target the headquarters of Sports Direct in Shirebrook. The company hit the headlines last month for having 90% of staff employed on zero-hour contracts. Details here: http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=884

Reports from zero-hour contract protests in London, Dundee and Sheffield

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside McDonalds on Sheffield Hight Street - photo by Sheffield Star

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside McDonalds on Sheffield Hight Street - photo by Sheffield Star

London: Youth Fight for Jobs march along Oxford Street targeting zero-hour contract employers

Akila Kumar, Youth Fight for Jobs London

As part of its continued campaign against the use of zero-hour contracts by employers, on August 10 2013 Youth Fight for Jobs held a march along Oxford Street outside several big-name shops which have been exposed as employing their workers on these contracts.

Employees on zero-hour contracts are not guaranteed work and cannot predict how many hours they will be asked to work within a given week; therefore they cannot be sure if they will be earning enough to cover their costs. In addition, they are denied the benefits given to employees with a more stable contract such as holidays and sick-pay.

Our march served to raise awareness of the difficulties workers on zero-hour contracts face and to demand that employers give their workers fairer contracts with guaranteed working hours and holidays.

The march stopped at several food-chains including McDonalds, which employs 90% of its workforce on zero-hour contracts, as well as Burger King and Subway. Employees at the Subway are made to waive their right to limit their working week to 48-hours in order to be employed.

With the use of a mega-phone, outside each shop, we loudly took it in turns to chant, expose the greed of these employers, and handed out leaflets with details about zero-hour contracts to passers-by and staff. Lots of people approached us wanting to find out more about the campaign and how to join it.

The protest then moved on to other big-name retailers including Boots, Sports Direct and Starbucks. Sports Direct also employs 90% of its workforce on zero-hour contracts.

Starbucks has recently been exposed for its tax evasion. Starbucks paid £5m this June, despite UK sales of £3bn. In Britain, the company has only paid tax once in 15 years. However, even with its long history of tax evasion, the company still believes it is not earning enough to be able to employ all of its workers on stable contracts with decent pay and guaranteed work. To its pay measly level of tax (less than 1%), Starbucks didn’t eat into any profits, instead they removed workers’ breaks, maternity leave, and other rights.

The march received a great response from passers-by; we handed out 1000 ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’ leaflets. The success of the day was marked by the number of signatures we got for our petition and the number of people interested in joining Youth Fight for Jobs.

We will keep up the pressure on the bosses who employ their workers on zero-hour contracts and continue the fight to end the use of zero-hour contracts by employers, as part of our demand for fairer working conditions for all workers.

Dundee: Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Sports Direct

Wayne Scott, Youth Fight for Jobs Dundee

On August 10th, Youth Fight for Jobs held a protest outside Sports Direct in Dundee. This protest was in response to the shocking recent news which revealed that 90% of Sports Direct workers are employed on zero-hour contracts. Recently the company has been boasting about its bonus scheme which is paid only to full time executives. Sports Direct – along with other high street stores – is owned by Mike Ashley, a billionaire tycoon.

These contracts are used to squeeze profit out of the workforce. Workers employed on zero-hour contracts are in permanent insecurity, not knowing how many hours they will be working week to week, not knowing if they can afford to pay the bills. The bosses also use these contracts to oust those who fight for better working conditions.

This protest was part of the ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’ campaign launched by Youth Fight for Jobs. We want to organise young workers.

We were joined by other campaigners including activists from the Dundee Bin the Bedroom Tax campaign.

Minutes after assembling, we were confronted by Sports Direct managers who threatened to call the police if we did not move. We were perfectly within our rights to peacefully protest against the exploitation of their workforce, therefore we refused to leave. We didn’t give in to the aggression of management.

Many passers-by stopped to sign our petition and took away our leaflets; some were interested in getting involved in a campaign. Many had heard about the protest earlier in the day on a local radio station. The overwhelming mood from the public was one of support.

We marched went into the store with placards to distribute leaflets. We were asked to leave by management and security but were not physically removed. We took the opportunity to leaflet and talk to staff employed on these contracts. One staff member told me; “I’m sick of my boss taking the mick, I don’t know how many hours I’ll be working one week to the next”. We then left the store to continue campaigning on the streets.

This is part of a series of actions called by Youth Fight for Jobs, we will continue with a protest outside of a McDonald’s in Dundee this Friday 16th August. An estimated 1 million workers in Britain are employed on zero-hour contracts. The trade union movement must build a campaign to demand an end to the practice of zero-hour contracts, while at the same time fighting for decent jobs for all, a living minimum wage, and the end to anti-trade union laws.

Link to photos:

https://www.facebook.com/youthfightscotland/media_set?set=a.453258974771470.1073741826.100002621132429&type=1

Sheffield: Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside McDonalds

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/zero-hour-contracts-protest-in-sheffield-1-5942769

Local paper, The Sheffield Star, covered our protest, revealing Sheffield City Labour council employ 438 on zero-hour contracts. Sheffield City Council justified their disgusting employment practice by claiming that they pay some council workers such poverty wages they’re desperate enough to need a 2nd (zero-hour) job.

Join the next set of protests against zero-hour contracts organised by Youth Fight for Jobs

Friday 16th August Dundee McDonalds

Saturday 17th August Leeds and York

Saturday 24th August Bristol 1pm - Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour Walk of Shame – march through Bristol city centre to name & shame zero-hour contract employers

Saturday 24th August Plymouth protest outside Sports Direct at 12pm https://www.facebook.com/events/1401147796774862/ and public meeting on Monday 26th August at 1pm https://www.facebook.com/events/540127172702913/

email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com
contact Youth Fight for Jobs on 02085587947
catch us on facebook ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’
follow us on twitter @youthfight4jobs #soyb
OR text JOIN, plus your name & postcode to 07749379010

Youth Fight for Jobs protest at Sports Direct HQ

Becci Heagney, East Midlands Youth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs held a protest in Shirebrook, a village in North Derbyshire which is home to Sports Direct headquarters and distribution centre. We were making a stand against the company’s use of zero hour contracts – which 90% of their staff are estimated to be on – and making a call to workers to get organised and fight for decent contracts.

Our protest got a lot of attention and support from passers-by and we spoke to current and ex-workers of Sports Direct. They told us that they work in a factory with a bullying management, walking miles with heavy cages to push, completely inadequate health and safety including locked fire escapes, air conditioning switched off – all for minimum wage. After finishing their shift it can  take another hour before they can leave whilst they queue to be physically searched.

Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, is seen regularly in Shirebrook, sitting in the market place drinking coffee and eating a bacon cob with the locals. However, someone who is worth £2.3bn has nothing in common with any residents here. And what’s more, he’s only made that money through super exploitation of the people working for him. As we said at the protest: every pound he doesn’t pay his workers, he knows is another pound in his pocket.

Workers are angry, but there is a huge amount of fear about what will happen to them if they take action.

Youth Fight for Jobs is working with Unite trade union and others to build a campaign that can unite ALL workers to stop the race to the bottom by fighting for decent jobs, pay, hours and working conditions.

Join the next Youth Fight for Jobs protests against zero-hour contracts!

Saturday 10th August Northampton 11am Sports Direct

Saturday 10th August London march to name & shame zero-contract employers on Oxford Street – meet at Tottenham Court Road tube station at 12pm

Saturday 10th August Dundee 1:30am Sports Direct in Nethergate (Overgate shopping centre)

Friday 16th August Dundee McDonalds

Saturday 17th August Leeds and York

Saturday 24th August Bristol 1pm - Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour Walk of Shame – march through Bristol city centre to name & shame zero-hour contract employers

email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com
contact Youth Fight for Jobs on 02085587947
catch us on facebook ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’
follow us on twitter @youthfight4jobs #soyb
OR text JOIN, plus your name & postcode to 07749379010

Former Sports Direct worker – in his own words

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct on Oxford Street - photo by Ian Pattison

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct on Oxford Street - photo by Ian Pattison

Matt (former worker at  Sports Soccer – now Sports Direct)

“As a former employee of Sports Soccer (Sports Direct’s predecessor) it came as little surprise to me to learn that this company has become one of the first targets of Youth Fight for Jobs’ new initiative ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’.

“Luckily for me, the job market in 2002, although not swimming with wonderful jobs, would be the envy of a lot of young people today. Usually you could find something even if it wasn’t a dream job and as such I was able to jump to a different employer quite quickly who treated me marginally better.

“Sports Soccer’s (Sports Direct) policy at the store I worked at was to hire as many people as they could onto zero-hour contracts, which put a lot of reserve labour at their disposal. The deal was if you step out of line once or we don’t like the look of you, we will give your hours to somebody else.

“It was store policy that you had to be on the shop floor 10 minutes before your shift started, which was unpaid. In short, every 6 shifts they got a free hour out of you. In fact, they got a lot more than that, it was also made clear to you at the interview that you were expected at the end of the day to tidy the store which, again, was unpaid and usually took between 30-45 minutes; more free labour.

“Shop floor workers I am sure you are shocked to learn were on minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs for young working class people and university graduates were not uncommon even back then.

“Had it been merely the wage and the zero-hour contract I would not have labelled them the worst company I have ever worked for. What tips the balance was the shockingly indignant way they treated me and the rest of the workforce. As an employee you were not considered to be worthy of entering the shop via the front entrance you had to go in via the back door. There was also a big sign on the back door that if you opened it without a supervisor present you would face immediate dismissal for the crime of opening a door!

“Worst of all you were basically treated as a criminal and subject to a body and bag search at the end of every shift. It is about time the shockingly bad way Mr Ashley treats his employees is brought into the public spotlight.”

Join the Youth Fight for Jobs protests against zero-hour contracts

Saturday 10th August Northampton 11am Sports Direct

Saturday 10th August London -  march to name & shame zero-contract employers on Oxford Street - meet at Tottenham Court Road tube station at 12pm

Saturday 10th August Dundee 1:30am Sports Direct in Nethergate (Overgate shopping centre)

Saturday 17th August Leeds

Saturday 24th August Bristol 1pm Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour Walk of Shame - march through Bristol city centre to name & shame zero-hour contract employers

email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com
contact Youth Fight for Jobs on 02085587947
catch us on facebook ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’
follow us on twitter @youthfight4jobs #soyb
OR text JOIN, plus your name & postcode to 07749379010

Sports Direct and zero-hour contract workers speak out!

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contract Sports Direct on Oxford Street - photo by Ian Pattison

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contract Sports Direct on Oxford Street - photo by Ian Pattison

Helen Pattison, London Youth Fight for Jobs

“When I worked a 12-hour shift on a zero-hour contract for a pub chain without a break, and complained it was illegal, my hours were cut.

“When a fellow campaigner tried to unionise staff at his workplace on a zero-hours contract he wasn’t fired, which would be illegal – he just didn’t get any hours, week after week. That is why big businesses like zero-hour contracts.

“Youth Fight for Jobs has no faith in Nick Clegg, Vince Cable or the Labour Party, who all have pushed for a “flexible” labour market for decades.

“Trade unions must take up this issue and organise workers to campaign for decent contracts, pay and working conditions. With one million on zero-hour contracts and millions poorly treated and bullied at work, workers in Britain need to realise their strength.

“We should take a lead from fast food workers in the US. Co-ordinated days of action starting in New York and spreading out across the country have included strikes at McDonalds, KFC, and Burger King. Some pizza workers have won the right to organise in a union. Staffs who were illegally dismissed have been reinstated.”

Gareth (who has been on zero-hour contracts for the last 4 years)

“I am a 20 year old, who has been working for both the NHS and in Social Care local councils, for 4 years, my entire working life. In this time, I have never had a paid holiday, I have never received sick pay and I have never worked a contracted hour. I work pay-cheque to pay cheque; I do not get any sort of job security or regular pay. One week I could work four or five shifts, the next one or none at all, and going six weeks without work is not uncommon. I have no control over when I work, and can be called in anything up to an hour before the start of a shift. I have no idea when the call will come, so it is almost impossible to claim benefits.

“Originally I started work to gain experience and to pay my way through education. I was unable to claim EMA, despite receiving no other financial support. I had to support a partner; the choice between gas and electric made everything difficult, and my education suffered. I now live with my parents, and I’m earning money to pay rent. It is almost impossible to save or plan for anything, because the money that I earn might have to last me for months.

“Recently the spotlight has been shone on zero-hour contracts and under-employment. The mainstream media has picked them up, Nick Clegg and his Lib-Dem cronies have announced that they will “look into these practices”. But, the Lib-Dems, Tories, and the Labour Party have supported neo-liberalism for years. They call for a “flexible” workforce, but the ‘flexibility’ is always for bosses, never for us. Zero-hour contracts are a way for the ruling class to further control and exploit young workers, who are often non-unionised and have no other way to make a living. The Financial Times said if we want capitalism, than we’re going to have to put up with zero-hour contracts. If the capitalist system can’t afford to give us proper contracts, then we can’t afford the capitalist system!”

Former Sports Direct worker Kieran Grogan

“There has been media frenzy over zero-hour contracts, why has this only recently come to light?

“My working life started off at Sports Direct around 2004 as a 15 year old school boy. Of course it was minimum wage and yes it was a zero-hour contract.

“From school, I trained as a joiner and endured an apprenticeship, again with what felt like master and servant conditions. After my apprenticeship I was subject to more harsh conditions working on various construction sites for horrible, blacklisting firms such as Carillon and agencies like Heyes.

“Zero-hour contracts really do leave you at the mercy of your employer and are very similar to agency work. Neither has any guaranteed hours; no sick pay, no holidays, and no redundancy pay. If you dare to ask for a day off or if can’t work a shift that you are offered, you’ll soon find whatever little work you had is reduced or nothing at all the next week. All around us we see terms and conditions being slashed, this is a race to the bottom, yet another in a long line of Tory attacks.

“Today I saw an employer on the news defending using zero-hour contracts in the care home he ran, because of council cuts to grants. Zero-hour contracts thriving in the care sector mean some of the most vulnerable people in society are suffering under illegal low level of staffing or support. Bosses at greedy private-sector vultures like Southern Cross make massive bonuses while quality of care suffers.

“A ‘flexible’ labour market is used as an excuse to employ zero-hour contracts that can be used to victimised health & safety reps and trade unionists. Trade unions need to organise unorganised workers so we struggle against zero-hour contracts to stop us descending back towards ‘master and servant’ conditions.

Friday 9th August
Sports Direct HQ
Shirebrook, North Derbyshire
11am
protesting down the road at Shirebrook Market Place

Friday 9th August
Sheffield
11:30am
meet at McDonalds on the High Street

Saturday 10th August
Northampton
11am
Sports Direct

Saturday 10th August
London
march to name & shame zero-contract employers
Oxford Street
meet at Tottenham Court Road tube station at 12pm

Saturday 10th August
Dundee
1:30am
Sports Direct
Nethergate

Saturday 17th August
Leeds

Saturday 24th August
Bristol
1pm
Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour Walk of Shame
march through Bristol city centre to name & shame zero-hour contract employers

 

email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com to get your protest advertised

For more info contact Youth Fight for Jobs on 02085587947
catch us on facebook ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’
follow us on twitter @youthfight4jobs #soyb
OR text JOIN, plus your name & postcode to 07749379010

PRESS RELEASE: Protests against zero-hour contracts by Youth Fight for Jobs continue

A list of Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour contract protests is below

Youth Fight for Jobs London organiser Helen Pattison said:

“This Saturday 10thAugust, Youth Fight for Jobs is meeting at Tottenham Court tube station at 12pm, marching along Oxford Street targeting all the companies that use zero-hour contracts with lobbies and protests. We’ll be going straight into shops and speaking directly to staff about how they can get organised in their workplace to fight for proper contracts with guaranteed hours on a living wage.”

Zero-hour contract and Sports Direct staff speak out!

Former Sports Direct worker Kieran Grogan said:

“My working life started at Sports Direct when I was 15 years old. It was minimum wage and a zero-hour contract. The conditions of zero-hour contracts leave you at the mercy of your employer. No guaranteed hours, no sick pay, no holidays, and no redundancy pay. If I dared to ask for a day off or if I couldn’t work a shift that I was offered, soon I’d find whatever little work I had was reduced or nothing at all the next week.”

20 year old Gareth, who has been working on zero-hour contracts for the last 4 years, said:

“I have been working on zero-hour contracts for the NHS and in Social Care for local councils, for my entire working life. In this time, I have never had a paid holiday, I have never received sick pay and I have never worked a contracted hour. I work pay-cheque to pay-cheque; I do not get any sort of job security or regular pay. One week I could work four or five shifts, the next one or none at all, and going six weeks without work is not uncommon. I have no control over when I work, and can be called in anything up to an hour before the start of a shift. I have no idea when the call will come, so it is impossible to plan my life or claim benefits I am entitled to.

“Nick Clegg and his Lib-Dem cronies have announced that they will ‘look into these practices’. But, the Lib-Dems, Tories, and the Labour Party have a so-called ‘flexible’ labour market for years. Why is it always ‘flexible’ for the bosses, but never for us? The Financial Times said if the we want capitalism, than we’re going to have to put up with zero-hour contracts. If the capitalist system can’t afford to give us proper contracts, then we can’t afford the capitalist system!”

Friday 9th August
Sports Direct HQ
Shirebrook, North Derbyshire

11am
protesting down the road at Shirebrook Market Place

Friday 9th August
Sheffield
11:30am
meet at McDonalds
on the High Street

Saturday 10th August
Northampton
11am
Sports Direct

Saturday 10th August
London
march to name & shame zero-contract employers on Oxford Street
meet at Tottenham Court Road tube station at 12pm

Saturday 10th August
Dundee
1:30am
Sports Direct
Nethergate

Saturday 17th August
Leeds

Saturday 24th August
Bristol
1pm
Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour Walk of Shame
march through Bristol city centre to name & shame zero-hour contract employers

 

email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com to get your protest advertised

For more info contact Youth Fight for Jobs on 02085587947
catch us on facebook ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’
follow us on twitter @youthfight4jobs #soyb
OR text JOIN, plus your name & postcode to 07749379010

Youth Fight for Jobs protest zero-hour contract Sports Direct in London, Glasgow & Leeds

‘Sports Direct hear us say, zero-hours – no way!’

Helen Pattison, London Youth Fight for Jobs

Fifty protesters gathered outside the Oxford Street branch of Sports Direct in central London on Saturday 3 August to demand an end to zero-hour contracts.

Sports Direct employs 90% of its workers on zero-hour contracts.

Young people who worked on similar contracts took the megaphone to relay their experiences of the contracts which offer no guarantee of work or pay. Many employers also get away with not paying holiday or sick pay to zero-hour staff.

We heard how the contracts were used to oust staff trying to legally organise in trade unions and those who stood up to demand decent conditions at work.

The protest occupied the shop for a brief time to try and speak to the staff but also put pressure on the shop to give its staff decent contracts.

Ultimately now it is the role of the trade unions to organise these staff and carry on the fight for decent contracts and an end to zero-hour.

Since the protest, a poll by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has shown that over one million workers are on zero-hour terms, rather than the Office for National statistics (ONS) estimate of 250,000.

The CIPD poll shows that the scale of zero-hour job insecurity goes much wider, but also shows the potential of trade unions to organise workers against their zero-hour contract misery.

Boots have told their staff employed on zero-hour contracts with no guaranteed hours that they may have to work abroad.

In Scotland, Youth Fight for Jobs supporters organised a protest outside Sports Direct on Argyle Street in Glasgow. Matt Dobson said from the protest

“we got a fantastic response from shoppers and staff who came out to sign our petition against zero-hour contracts. Many young workers passing by from other shops also took our leaflets to hand out to their workmates. Sports Direct managers put plenty of security on the store entrance after they heard Youth Fight for Jobs in London had entered the store and refused to let us speak to staff. Retail workers of all ages were interested in joining a trade union and we gave out USDAW and Unite trade union material. We will be following this up with action in Dundee on August 10th and Paisley and Edinburgh later in the month.”

Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs organiser was on a protest against Sports Direct this Monday (5th August) in Leeds, he said

“We were inundated by people passing by wanting to support us, sign our petition and take leaflets. I spent almost the entire protest doing interviews with the local press, both newspapers and radio stations. Many people passing by had seen Youth Fight for Jobs activist Helen Pattison on Sky Newsm (debating zero-hour contract enthusiast and former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins) earlier that day and were keen to talk about how we could secure decent jobs with a living wage. Several people wanted to get involved with the campaign. The previous day we had taken the same petition to Leeds Pride and had a similarly warm response.”

 

 

  • Join the protest at Sports Direct HQ – Friday 9th August, 11am, Shirebrook, North Derbyshire, protest down the road at Shirebrook Market Place