Unions fight for job equality

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A WIGAN union leader has vowed to protect workers on zero-hour contracts to ensure they are not exploited.

Branch Chairman of Wigan Unite, Stephen Hall, has spoken out after new research suggests more than a million workers have been placed on such contracts.

And he has sworn he will stand by any of the borough’s employees affected by zero hour contracts to protect their career rights.

Although Wigan Council says its use of such contracts has reduced significantly.

Mr Hall, said: “In my position I am totally against the contracts. People need to be assured that they will get proper contracts.

“It’s as if we are being taken back to the 1930s and that we don’t have a choice in how we want to work. Ordinary people are being made to foot the bill for the mistakes of those in power. I will fight to get this removed and I will ensure that the unions fight for job equality.

“I will be attending a conference in September, a day before the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. And I will make sure that the zero hour contract issues are highlighted.

“We cannot carry on with people having these insecure jobs.”

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that a fifth of employers in the UK had at least one person on the contract, where hours are not guaranteed.

Companies in the voluntary and public sectors, as well as the hotel, leisure and catering industries, were more likely to use such contracts.

It shows more than 97 per cent of councils in the country are using the contracts which don’t guarantee care providers any work or any money.

However, Wigan Council bosses have ensured that zero-hour contracts are being kept to a minimum in the borough.

A Wigan Council spokesman said: “We aim to be a responsible, supportive employer and ensure we have great staff working in our communities. We’ve been working to avoid appointing council employees on zero-hour contracts.”