In the bad old days, workers would queue up at the factory gates or the docks hoping to get a days work. It didn’t just happen in Britain, the practice was common here in Bigastro where workers would assemble at the corner by La Caixa bank hoping to be picked for a job in the fields.
As times improved and legislation was introduced, workers rights abolished those sort of practices. However, we are in a global recession and employers demand more flexibility to control their workforce.
So, in Britain at least, we are seeing the emergence of so called “zero hour” contracts.Sports Direct apparently employs 20,000 staff on this type of contract and have been lambasted by elements of the press for doing so.
However, it seems Sports Direct are not alone in offering this type of contract; Buckingham Palace, Cineworld and the Tate Gallery operate a similar system with no guarantee of working hours. No doubt there are many more companies in Britain that operate the same system for a flexible workforce.
How on earth anyone can live not knowing whether they will have work from one day to the next beats me.