‘City can lead way in stamping out zero hour contracts’ – Jackson

Derry City and Strabane District Council should seek to eradicate the use of Zero Hour contracts across the region, Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson has said.

Speaking after lodging a motion for the monthly meeting of the Council, Cllr. Jackson said the local authority could lead the way by spearheading a practical strategy aimed at bringing an end to zero hour contracts.

Cllr. Jackson said: “In an ever changing world, workers are facing many continuing and new challenges. The prospect of Brexit threatens to strip away many of the rights that workers have won within the EU. This British Tory government remains intent on attacking the most vulnerable in our society with the support of its alliance with DUP.

“Zero hour contracts have become the new reality for many workers and their families. It’s important at a local level to do all we can to help workers fight for equal pay for an equal day’s work, and a society where zero hour contracts are consigned to the history bin.

“There are workers in Derry and Strabane who have no idea week to week what hours they will work or what income they will receive.

“They cannot plan ahead, they cannot apply for a loan, let alone even dream of a buying a home. They have no idea if they will be able to afford their rent or their bills, from one month to the next.

“Derry City and Strabane District Council can lead the way to help make the north-west region a zero hour contract free zone. And that’s why this motion is also calling for a district wide forum to help develop a practical strategy aimed at bringing an end to these damaging and harmful employment practices.”

Motion

Councillor Jackson to Move: Derry City and Strabane District Council calls upon employers to end the practice of zero hour contracts now. This Council commits itself to doing everything that it can to help make the north-west region a zero hour contract free zone.

This council agrees that zero hour contracts have no role in stimulating inclusive economic growth and should be banned.

This motion further proposes that the Mayor convene a district wide forum, including local business leaders, trade unions, employer’s organisations, youth groups, anti-poverty groups, and any other concerned sections of civic society, to develop a practical strategy aimed at bringing an end to these damaging and harmful employment practices.