The Solidarity Federation have been at the forefront of campaigns to support temporary and casual workers. We would like to see these workers better organised and able to resist attacks on, and improve, their pay and conditions. We urge all temporary workers, and those in full time employment to support initiatives such as the Bristol Against Casualisation Campaign.
There are some 1.7 million temporary workers in the UK who make up 7% of the workforce. Capitalism uses temporary workers for their flexibility, in other words they can be exploited easier. Some are employed directly but many are employed through agencies. While the government and employers promote the illusion of choice with temporary working the reality is far different for the vast majority of the temporary workforce.
This year, as every year, that parasitic front organisation for the promotion of casualisation, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), is planning to name one lucky worker as "One in a million". This is as a part of their self-styled National Temporary Worker's Week.
While this blessed worker is bestowed with this honour, what will the other 999,999 temporary workers in each million be doing? Like every day, wondering if they will have work next week, if joining a union will get them the sack, guessing how much the permanent worker alongside them earns, contemplating how things might be better...
In opposition to the REC and National Temporary Worker's Week, Bristol Against Casualisation Campaign is proposing a week of counter events called Fighting Temporary Work Week. They are calling for a National Picket of Employment Agencies on I 7th - 21 st May 2004. Choose your target agency - in Bristol they picked Manpower offices but go for your least favourite agency and picket outside - or use your imagination to make them know we are fighting back.
While the agency bosses quaff champagne, nibble canapes and discuss how to screw that extra penny out of our hard labours, we suggest everyone against casualisation; express your anger at their greed - no more death, poor pay and worsening work conditions.
A 'Cider and Pork Scratching Reception' (veggie option available) has been organised for the 20th May 2004, Parliament Square, Westminster, London - 4.00pm. There is also a Fight Temporary Work - One-day conference, 22nd May 2004 (Free admission) to be held in Bristol, a forum for those engaged in fighting casualisation to discuss strategies and build alliances.
The job agencies have had it easy· it is time for us to unite in opposition to casualisation and fight back. If you need a start, contact SoIFed (www.solfed.ol1l.uk) or gather at the BACC Bristol conference - email firstname.lastname@example.org (Box 4, Greenleaf Bookshop, 82 Colston S~ Bristol, BS1 SBB
Ansaphone: On9 2018881).
The objectives are:
- To encourage dialogue between all workers involved in the struggle against Casualisation, to formulate strategies to fight against the erosion of workers rights and conditions.
- To highlight the efforts of workers fighting back against this trend that is eroding workers rights and working conditions.
- To promote awareness of the role of employment agencies in the growing use of casualised labour in all sectors.