We've all recently been subjected to yet another of those campaigns. Zero hours contracts, where someone is trained and ready to work but no hours of work are guaranteed, were just the immoral exploitation of labour by the plutocratic capitalists and their lackey running dogs. Apparently: although one of the journalists who made this claim was really very put out when we pointed out that she, as a freelance journalist for a number of publications, was on a number of zero hours contracts herself. And indeed are several of us when we write for various places, chat on the radio and all that.
So, McDonald's probably the country's largest user of such contracts has been offering more secure ones:
Paul Pomroy, the boss of McDonald’s UK, said the company was revamping its employment policy after staff told him they were struggling to get loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts because they are not guaranteed employment each week.
As a result, the company has started offering staff the option of moving to contracts guaranteeing a minimum of four hours a week, 16 hours or 30 hours.
Pomroy said a trial in St Helens, Merseyside, had been very successful and McDonald’s is now looking to roll it out across the country.
About 80% of workers in the trial elected to stay on zero hours...
We certainly wouldn't decry people being offered more choice. But it does rather look like the screaming chatterati were wrong on this one too, doesn't it? Far from zero hours contracts being something which the workers hate as exploitation they exist because the vast majority of the workers are entirely happy with them, prefer them, actively choose them. How rare it is for that howling about a fashionable issue to be wrong, eh?
As we've said before, if zero hours contracts are just fine for us, if we actively choose them in our own working lives, then why aren't they just fine if other people wish to make the same choice? After all, it's not as if every newly minted and left wing (but we largely repeat ourselves) graduate wouldn't cut their left leg off for a chance to freelance for one of the national papers, is it? And if that is fine then why one earth should the hoi polloi be excluded from a choice that we're allowed to make?