Precarious employment has become a typical feature of our lives under capitalism. More and more, workers are being forced to accept low pay, poor working conditions and minimal rights as standard. Over 10 million people in Britain are currently considered to be in precarious work. This includes zero hours contracts, temporary employment, underemployment or the hollow ‘self-employment’ of companies like Uber and Deliveroo. This represents an absurd number of people in our society who are barely able to live off their wages and are living in a desperate social and financial situation.
The rise in the use of foodbanks and the growing layer of society without any monetary savings are but two examples of the horrendous implications of precarious employment, which seeks to exploit workers to the point of dehumanisation.
At our universities we have seen the brutality and hardship that precarious workers face. The fight to bring cleaners in-house showed the deep-rooted anger that has developed by those suffering under precarious employment, but it also showed that solidarity and struggle are key to opposing these measures.
As Marxists, we recognise that precarious work is a natural product of capitalist crisis. As bosses search for new avenues of profit making in the attempt to escape inevitable financial collapse, they are forced to abandon all pretense of morality and undermine even the most basic conditions of workers’ lives. We also must not forget the criminal role that the Tory government has played in the last few years, promoting and even encouraging precarious employment, so that the ruling class can continue to profit at the expense of working people.
We are fighting for a socialist Corbyn-led Labour government, backed by a mass movement of workers fighting to defend decent living and working conditions. This way we can fundamentally transform society into one where how much we work, and how the economy works, is based on need, not profit.
If you support the fight to end precarious work, please help us get the resolution below passed at the conference of the National Union of Students (NUS) conference this year. Contact us to help with this campaign.
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- Precarious employment has become a typical feature of our lives under capitalism
- Over 10 million people in Britain are currently considered to be in precarious employment
- Low pay, poor working conditions, zero-hour contracts and minimal rights have become standard
- This leads people to be barely able to live off their wages and are living in a desperate social and financial situation
- At Universities, the result of this has been recent campaigns to bring cleaners and other staff in-house
- The Conservative government has been promoting and encouraging precarious employment
- An upsurge in precarious work is a natural product of capitalist crisis
- We have the technology, resources, and ability to plan the economy so that no-one has to work in precarious employment
- All workers should get a real living wage, fixed-term contracts, and full workers’ rights
- To support, with financial help and active participation, the struggles of precarious workers
- To help organise a joint committee of union representatives of all precarious workers at universities, colleges, and schools
- To make the case for and participate in joint union action, on a national scale, in defence of the rights of precarious workers
- To campaign for the election of a government for the many, not the few, that will fundamentally transform society so that the economy is planned and run in the interests of need, not profit