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TUC's Sam Gurney calls for end to zero-hour contracts as part of HeartUnions Week 2019

Trade union bosses are ramping up their call for zero-hour contracts to be scrapped.

As part of HeartUnions Week - an annual event to highlight the role of trade unions - union leaders across the south east are calling for an end to the controversial contracts.

Union leaders will commit to negotiate an end to zero-hour contracts in workplaces where they have recognition and have launched an online petition.

TUC is fighting for a fair deal for those on zero-hour contracts
TUC is fighting for a fair deal for those on zero-hour contracts

The most recent official figures show that in the south east there are 103,000 people whose main job is a zero-hour contract. But this is not by choice – a TUC poll found that that two-thirds of zero-hour workers prefer to be on permanent, secure contracts.

New TUC analysis published today shows that zero-hour workers are having a tougher time than those in secure employment on a range of measures.

These include having to work night shifts, receive lower wages - being paid on average around a third, £4.10, less than other workers and simply not having enough work each week - on average 25 hours compared to contracted workers who work 36 hours a week.

Those on zero-hour contracts, on average, are paid less than those on regular contracts
Those on zero-hour contracts, on average, are paid less than those on regular contracts

TUC secretary for the south east region Sam Gurney said: “The vast majority of people on zero-hour contracts in want out. The only flexibility offered to them is what’s good for employers.

“Zero-hours workers regularly work through the night for low pay, putting their health at risk. And many face the constant uncertainty of not knowing when their next shift will come.

“We need the government to stamp out these unfair contracts. Working people in the south eastern region need solid jobs, with guaranteed hours, to provide for a decent family life.”

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