Workers rights group set to target employers with “direct action”
CAMPAIGN group Better Than Zero (BTZ) is hosting an open meeting tonight to inform workers of employment rights around rising precarious workplace practises.
The group has called the meeting to focus on unpaid trial shifts and to offer information to people who haven’t been paid after working shifts at events like concerts.
The meeting will take place at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) building on Woodlands Road from 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm.
“It’s generally going to be a know-your-rights session on failure to pay wages.” Bryan Simpson
Bryan Simpson from BTZ said: “It’s generally going to be a know-your-rights session on failure to pay wages, It’s for anyone who is owed wages or has been asked to work for free.
“We wanted to do something on unpaid trial shifts anyway, but the meeting will be on unpaid work in general.
“Our main demographic is hotel workers and hospitality workers where they do different shifts.”
Simpson claimed bar staff scheduled to work at a recent concert that was cancelled were contracted for 12 hours , but after working for four hours were told their services were no longer required.
He added: “You’ve got 219 bar staff and 350 security staff that weren’t paid a penny.”
Simpson told CommonSpace that BTZ’s position was that the staff should be paid regardless.
He added that BTZ had seen a huge rise in the number of people contacting group due to the coverage of its campaign against unpaid trial shifts.
CommonSpace reported last month that the BTZ campaign against unpaid trial shifts has been so successful that SNP MP Stewart McDonald has proposed a Private Members’ Bill to outlaw the practice.
“The start of the meeting tomorrow is going to be informing people of their rights, but the conclusion of the meeting will be to organise a direct action plan.” Bryan Simpson
Common in the hospitality sector, unpaid trial shifts have been used by both small family-run businesses and large multi-national corporations.
BTZ tries to negotiate with employers on workers’ behalf and has managed to get wages back for some people for unpaid shifts.
If it fails to agree a compromise with an employer, BTZ uses direct action by holding protests on employers’ premises.
Simpson said: “The start of the meeting tomorrow is going to be informing people of their rights, but the conclusion of the meeting will be to organise a direct action plan.
“Are we going to target a number of employers for unpaid work or are we going to target one?”
Picture courtesy of Better Than Zero.
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