City centre objections to zero-hours working

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Protesters campaigning against zero hours contracts in Sheffield staged a demonstration in the city.

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education activists gathered outside McDonalds on Fargate in protest at contracts used by large numbers of companies - including McDonalds, Sports Direct, Burger King, Dominos Pizza, Wetherspoons, Everyman Cinemas, Cineworld and Boots - to employ some of their workers.

Such contracts do not guarantee employees work, and allow bosses not to pay sick pay.

Iain Dalton, Yorkshire organiser of the Youth Fight for Jobs and Education group, said: “Recent figures by Unite the union show 5.5 million workers in Britain could be on zero-hour contracts.

“There is a danger of a generation with no prospects other than such insecure work, and it is a conscious strategy of employers to boost their profits at the expense of their employees.

“While Youth Fight for Jobs is calling for zero-hour contracts to be scrapped, this will not be the end of underemployment as short-hour contracts, four-16 hours a week, and low pay will still need tackling.

“This is why Youth Fight for Jobs argues that workers need to organise themselves. We should take inspiration from the campaigns for ‘$15 an hour and a union’ taking place in fast food and retail in the USA.”

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education was launched in 2009 by young workers, students and unemployed youths.

It campaigns for real jobs, quality training or free education and is supported by seven national trade unions - Unite, the PCS, RMT, UCU, CWU, TSSA, and BECTU.

The campaign group has organised demonstrations around the country.