As part of the National Bonfire Against Austerity Leeds Unite Community today targeted sports direct, with a large picket to highlight the misery caused by Zero Hours Contracts.

The rise of zero hours contracts in the workplace is the latest attack on workers’ rights and dignity. Put simply, zero hours contracts cover a range of arrangements that mean workers have no guaranteed weekly hours or income, and are only being paid for the hours that they do work. Unite wants to challenge employers to end the exploitation.

Employers use zero hours contracts to cut wages, avoid holiday pay, pensions, and other benefits enjoyed by employees and agency staff. Workers are also unable to take on other work, as they are obliged to be available for work at the whim of the employer. And with the high level of insecurity comes the risk of bullying, harassment and stress. It’s time to end the exploitation.

Zero hours contracts are on the rise having almost doubled in the last five years. The latest data shows some 208,000 people are now ’employed’ on zero hours contracts, and these figures underestimate the reality as many people do not know they are on them.

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