40 people working at London’s City Hall headquarters are employed on zero-hours contracts. The workers employed on the controversial contracts do not offer them guaranteed hours, but despite that they are required to ask permission before working elsewhere. And who knows – to be allowed to get married, have children, or commit suicide as a result of depression.
Mayor Johnson did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday. But a spokesperson said: “A small number of people employed by sub-contractors at City Hall are on zero-hours contracts, however we have no control over their contracts and their use is a matter of national policy rather than for City Hall.” He added that the GLA “does not generally use zero-hours contracts”. Except in this case if course, they did…but only revealed doing so because an FOI question was asked.
When asked about zero-hours contracts at the London assembly in January this year, he said, “If you can keep some labour market flexibility you will help to keep people in employment.” He said he believed most strongly in promoting the London Living Wage, which encourages businesses to pay a higher basic wage than the national legal minimum in order to cover ordinary people’s basic costs.
But then, having said that, he proceeded to do something much more pernicious and exploitative.
Quantitative Easing = free money for shareholders. Zirp = no money for pensioners. Labour market flexibility = slave labour.
A thought: let’s put BoJo’s salary onto a zero-hours daily judgement basis, and then vote online to say if we think he’s worth it. Surely what we need here is Mayor-market flexibility. After all, beyond Zirp there is negative interest; so we could have a situation one day not too far from now when the Mayor of London is paying us for the privilege of staying in office.
I mean, the markets must decide…surely? Isn’t that the mantra?