Zero hours contract protest held in Bolton

Zero hours contract protest held in Bolton

Zero hours contract protest held in Bolton

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

PROTESTERS took to the streets to campaign against “disgraceful” zero hours contracts which they say are exploiting Bolton’s workers.

A demonstration organised by the Bolton Trade Union Council on Saturday (March 29) saw campaigners take over the steps to Bolton Town Hall with placards and megaphones.

Protesters erected a ‘wall of shame’ detailing the corporations they claim exploit Bolton’s workforce with zero hours contracts.

Flexible zero hours are where staff are hired with no guarantee of work, paid an hourly rate and can be informed of shifts at short notice.

Organiser Andy Birchall, from Unite, said: “This ongoing problem is happening all over the country and is affecting our friends and family members in Bolton.

“People are being taken on and then not called for weeks, and some contracts even stop people from looking elsewhere for more work.

“You can end up with nothing to live off — you can’t pay your rent, apply for a loan or get a mortgage. It is complete exploitation.

“These are not small businesses trying to get off the ground, they are multimillion pound organisations.”

Jim Halliday attended the protest with his two and a half-year-old son Alfie because he says his ex-partner, Alfie’s mum, is employed on a zero hours contract with Bolton Council.

Jim, aged 52, from Halliwell, said: “She finds it a struggle because you never know when you are working.

“Some weeks she works 40 to 50 hours then she will hear nothing for two or three weeks.

“You can’t live like that, and the government are doing nothing to stop it.

“Everyone has bills to pay and zero hours contracts offer no security.”

Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, also attended to offer her support to the protesters.

She said: “Labour is committed to legislating against zero hours contracts.

“We want to make it law that you cannot be tied just to one contract and that if you have been employed for 12 weeks your contract should be made permanent.

“There is a place for zero hours contracts, but not the way they are currently being used.”

Comments (16)

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2:08pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Photo of child being exploited in respect to something he cannot possibly understand. Well done BN. Talk about hypocrisy. Did he get paid?
Photo of child being exploited in respect to something he cannot possibly understand. Well done BN. Talk about hypocrisy. Did he get paid? Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -8

2:32pm Sun 30 Mar 14

duggie67 says...

There is NO place for zero hours contracts!! If you have a job to be filled, then fill it with an employee, not 4 or 5 all on zero hours!
Bolton Council should be ashamed they are using these contracts as should any employer!
It is also being used by the DWP and the government to fiddle the unemployment figures as anyone on a zero hours contract doesn't count as unemployed.
Ban them now!
There is NO place for zero hours contracts!! If you have a job to be filled, then fill it with an employee, not 4 or 5 all on zero hours! Bolton Council should be ashamed they are using these contracts as should any employer! It is also being used by the DWP and the government to fiddle the unemployment figures as anyone on a zero hours contract doesn't count as unemployed. Ban them now! duggie67
  • Score: 41

6:11pm Sun 30 Mar 14

marcowalke says...

i was working for a diamond/drilling company in leigh, three and a half years they had me working on a zero hour contract, half the year working the other half waiting, when i had eventually got enough of siting at home waiting for work i tried to give them an ultimatum, pay me a subsidiary for siting at home, or make me redundant, they called me in to work on the Monday contract to keep me silent at the ready and basically bullied me into signing, lost total confidence now in my own self worth, and its happend twice since then, as i type now i am once again waiting for a phone call to call me into work, not worked for four weeks, its a joke...
i was working for a diamond/drilling company in leigh, three and a half years they had me working on a zero hour contract, half the year working the other half waiting, when i had eventually got enough of siting at home waiting for work i tried to give them an ultimatum, pay me a subsidiary for siting at home, or make me redundant, they called me in to work on the Monday contract to keep me silent at the ready and basically bullied me into signing, lost total confidence now in my own self worth, and its happend twice since then, as i type now i am once again waiting for a phone call to call me into work, not worked for four weeks, its a joke... marcowalke
  • Score: 22

9:56pm Sun 30 Mar 14

steverock6@sky.com says...

I have lost all respect for employers most of them treat you with total disrespect yet expect you to serve them like a loyal servant if they gave there employees some respect and trust they would get it back!
I have lost all respect for employers most of them treat you with total disrespect yet expect you to serve them like a loyal servant if they gave there employees some respect and trust they would get it back! steverock6@sky.com
  • Score: 14

10:43pm Sun 30 Mar 14

cranks says...

Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....
Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them..... cranks
  • Score: 17

11:32am Mon 31 Mar 14

thomas222 says...

The Bolton Labour Council should hang their heads in shame having become Champagne Socialists to long on the gravy train & time they went. Out of ideas out of credibility out of touch & hopefully soon out of here.
The Bolton Labour Council should hang their heads in shame having become Champagne Socialists to long on the gravy train & time they went. Out of ideas out of credibility out of touch & hopefully soon out of here. thomas222
  • Score: 3

12:13pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Isobelle says...

I work a zero hours contract. Yes, my hours/wages are inconsistent and unreliable and yes I am also at my managers mercy whether I get work or not and yes it sucks. However, if this form of employment was made illegal I'd be out of a job altogether. So for me its the least worst option.
I work a zero hours contract. Yes, my hours/wages are inconsistent and unreliable and yes I am also at my managers mercy whether I get work or not and yes it sucks. However, if this form of employment was made illegal I'd be out of a job altogether. So for me its the least worst option. Isobelle
  • Score: -3

12:26pm Mon 31 Mar 14

MrBenggo says...

cranks wrote:
Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....
Well said Cranks,I wonder who the 16% are who voted in favour of zero hours on the poll.
[quote][p][bold]cranks[/bold] wrote: Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....[/p][/quote]Well said Cranks,I wonder who the 16% are who voted in favour of zero hours on the poll. MrBenggo
  • Score: 1

1:02pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

Zero hours contracts work well for those who want flexible conditions. For example a student working in a supermarket may want high hours in the holidays but few to no hours in exam times. If you don’t want these terms and have a mortgage/kids/rent get an education and a better job. If you are on a zero hours contract it is because the company does not value you. They simply require a bank of unskilled workers to use when busy. People with no skills or attributes desirable to an employer are very quick to make demands these days. Learn a trade get an education or you will be exploited, it’s very simple

Only one way to stop these contracts remove the number of unskilled desperate people who fight over them.
Zero hours contracts work well for those who want flexible conditions. For example a student working in a supermarket may want high hours in the holidays but few to no hours in exam times. If you don’t want these terms and have a mortgage/kids/rent get an education and a better job. If you are on a zero hours contract it is because the company does not value you. They simply require a bank of unskilled workers to use when busy. People with no skills or attributes desirable to an employer are very quick to make demands these days. Learn a trade get an education or you will be exploited, it’s very simple Only one way to stop these contracts remove the number of unskilled desperate people who fight over them. Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: -5

1:58pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Lesmathes17 says...

Both
Both Lesmathes17
  • Score: -3

2:02pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Lesmathes17 says...

Both my sons were employed on zero hours contracts when at university. With a major retailer in town. They were able to work during the holidays leaving them with very little debt at the end. If it doesn't work for you get another job but don't ban them for everyone.
Both my sons were employed on zero hours contracts when at university. With a major retailer in town. They were able to work during the holidays leaving them with very little debt at the end. If it doesn't work for you get another job but don't ban them for everyone. Lesmathes17
  • Score: -6

3:02pm Mon 31 Mar 14

RogerMooresEyebrow says...

I can fully understand a student wanting the flexibility that a zero hours contract can provide, especially if it can be worked around studies and exams etc. In 'the old days', all you needed was a decent Saturday job, with the odd evening and your beer money for the week was sorted.
The issue now, thanks to workfare, agencies and the loophole ridden Agency Workers Regulations, is that it isn't just students that are being hired on zero hours contracts. There is a vast pool of unemployed people of all ages, there to be exploited. Large businesses/organisat
ions, particularly in the food industry, are flooding their workplaces with cheap labour either directly or via third parties and take no responsibility for them. Employment law is being slowly eroded, which in addition to anti-trade union legislation and immigration, has created a climate of fear throughout the job market. The net result is that those at the top maximise their profits, and those at the bottom endure financial hardship, uncertainty, insecurity and degradation.
I can fully understand a student wanting the flexibility that a zero hours contract can provide, especially if it can be worked around studies and exams etc. In 'the old days', all you needed was a decent Saturday job, with the odd evening and your beer money for the week was sorted. The issue now, thanks to workfare, agencies and the loophole ridden Agency Workers Regulations, is that it isn't just students that are being hired on zero hours contracts. There is a vast pool of unemployed people of all ages, there to be exploited. Large businesses/organisat ions, particularly in the food industry, are flooding their workplaces with cheap labour either directly or via third parties and take no responsibility for them. Employment law is being slowly eroded, which in addition to anti-trade union legislation and immigration, has created a climate of fear throughout the job market. The net result is that those at the top maximise their profits, and those at the bottom endure financial hardship, uncertainty, insecurity and degradation. RogerMooresEyebrow
  • Score: 8

5:34pm Mon 31 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

cranks wrote:
Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....
That is why we NEED the EU!!

The EU has given us - 25 minimum days leave a year
The EU has given us the basic minimum pay
The EU has given the same rights to contractors/temporar
y staff as what permanent members of staff have
The EU has given us maximum number of hours


That is just a small fraction of what the EU has done to make sure we workers get a good deal from our employers - all things that the Governments pas and present would never have given us!
[quote][p][bold]cranks[/bold] wrote: Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....[/p][/quote]That is why we NEED the EU!! The EU has given us - 25 minimum days leave a year The EU has given us the basic minimum pay The EU has given the same rights to contractors/temporar y staff as what permanent members of staff have The EU has given us maximum number of hours That is just a small fraction of what the EU has done to make sure we workers get a good deal from our employers - all things that the Governments pas and present would never have given us! BWFC71
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Mon 31 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

Lesmathes17 wrote:
Both my sons were employed on zero hours contracts when at university. With a major retailer in town. They were able to work during the holidays leaving them with very little debt at the end. If it doesn't work for you get another job but don't ban them for everyone.
A decent employer would never issue zero-hour contracts. they would have put them on temporary worker contracts which basically gives them a basic number of hours a week that can be worked around their studies - they have a steady income and still studying!!
[quote][p][bold]Lesmathes17[/bold] wrote: Both my sons were employed on zero hours contracts when at university. With a major retailer in town. They were able to work during the holidays leaving them with very little debt at the end. If it doesn't work for you get another job but don't ban them for everyone.[/p][/quote]A decent employer would never issue zero-hour contracts. they would have put them on temporary worker contracts which basically gives them a basic number of hours a week that can be worked around their studies - they have a steady income and still studying!! BWFC71
  • Score: 0

9:20am Tue 1 Apr 14

Gore Seer says...

Cameron Family Were Slavers Once Upon A Time, Me Thinks Slavery Is Here Once Again,Well Me Thinks Some People Are Treated As Slaves, GOD bless Them.
Cameron Family Were Slavers Once Upon A Time, Me Thinks Slavery Is Here Once Again,Well Me Thinks Some People Are Treated As Slaves, GOD bless Them. Gore Seer
  • Score: 0

9:26am Tue 1 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

BWFC71 wrote:
cranks wrote:
Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....
That is why we NEED the EU!!

The EU has given us - 25 minimum days leave a year
The EU has given us the basic minimum pay
The EU has given the same rights to contractors/temporar

y staff as what permanent members of staff have
The EU has given us maximum number of hours


That is just a small fraction of what the EU has done to make sure we workers get a good deal from our employers - all things that the Governments pas and present would never have given us!
Thank goodness you are now the minority!.
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cranks[/bold] wrote: Sad really how the once proud industrial town from years ago has possibly been made into the sweatshop of western europe along with many other northern towns. The trouble is not one current political party wants to defend workers rights in any shape or form and due to the fact wages never kept up with the cost of living the unions and there members have no power these days as people are so much in debt they have to keep working instead of taking industrial action. Great news for employers though who can just use and abuse staff as they see fit safe in the knowledge there are folk so desperate to work they accept contracts like these or the other sham out there often called agency work.....no wonder some choose the security of the welfare state other than gamble on day to day jobs like these....If you want real change do not vote for any of them.....[/p][/quote]That is why we NEED the EU!! The EU has given us - 25 minimum days leave a year The EU has given us the basic minimum pay The EU has given the same rights to contractors/temporar y staff as what permanent members of staff have The EU has given us maximum number of hours That is just a small fraction of what the EU has done to make sure we workers get a good deal from our employers - all things that the Governments pas and present would never have given us![/p][/quote]Thank goodness you are now the minority!. thomas222
  • Score: 0

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