Show zero-hours contracts the red card

On 3 January 2015, SSP activists staged a stunt outside the Sports Direct store at Straiton, saying it was time to 'Show Zero-Hours Contracts the Red Card'

by Calum Martin, Edinburgh South and Midlothian SSP The start of the New Year: a time of consideration of resolutions for the year ahead. Amidst the crisp weather of the New Year, Scottish Socialist Party activists in Edinburgh got the campaigning season off to a bright start—3 January saw not only the first street campaign stall of New Year on Princes Street, but also Scotland’s first political stunt of 2015.

On the afternoon of the 3rd, SSP activists staged a stunt outside the Sports Direct store at Straiton, saying it was time to “Show Zero-Hours Contracts the Red Card”. Armed with the aforementioned red card placards, leaflets, a good stock of whistles and a pair of referee costumes, the event kicked off at noon.

From the very beginning, it was clear the response at Straiton was overwhelmingly positive. Even in the cold, people were keen to voice their support – a first-hand display that even in the midst of New Year festivities; even in the midst of the clearance sales; even from the very beginning of this year, the depth of the desire across Scotland to see the end of Zero-hours contracts and workplace exploitation is only growing deeper.

Sports Direct is of course not unique amongst in Scotland in its use of exploitative contracts and conditions. Figures released by the House of Commons report on Zero-hours contracts in April 2014 revealed at least around 90’000 workers in Scotland were on zero-hours contracts. Some estimates have placed that figure even higher. The impacts of these contracts are widespread.

The SSP though is unique amongst Scotland’s political parties in our unflinching determination to stand up for the rights of working people. Who else will fight to see zero-hours contracts ended? Who else will fight to see a £10 Living Wage for all?

Who else will fight for a society that puts people before profit? We should be proud to remember that we are working together, as Scotland’s socialist party to achieve real and lasting change in our society.

Boldness, hard work and determination are essential for us in going forwards – so too are energy and innovation. We have all of these attributes: let’s make sure we use them well.

So if you are still looking for resolutions this year, why not try this: resolve to help to build a fairer society. Help to build Scotland’s socialist party; help to build the campaign; help today to start building that society now.

The New Year is begun and so is the campaign. Let’s show zero-hours contracts the Red card and win that Living Wage.

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