Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Hackney bin men exploited - 5.30am start but no job guarantee

The quotes below come from a story in a pamphlet called "No Cuts" - news from the Hackney Alliance to Defend Public Services. It sounded like something out of the Grapes of Wrath.

"Agency and council managers organise the 'morning day labour market' at the depot. This means that temp workers are supposed to turn up at 5:30am and wait 'til about 7:30am. If all regular workers turn up or too many temps arrived, people are sent back home without a job and unpaid - after having been employed at the depot for more than a year."

The author, "a refuse worker", warns that this exploited labour force is too disorganised to defend itself: "At Hackney waste depot around 30-40% of us (bin men, sweepers, drivers) are temps, most of them on the minimum wage, most of them on day-jobs. In addition to this division there are all the "private companies" and "self employed" engaged in rubbish collection - no strike could be successful without including them."

The author warns against this trend toward the casualisation of the labour force: "Demands to force back the cut must include the struggle against this enforced casualisation."

The leaflet looks like it might have something to do with Hackney TUC - it says that there is a meeting on 11 August at 7.30pm at Trinity Centre, Beechwood Road, Dalston.

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