The CTU released its report into insecure work Under Pressure: Insecure Work in New Zealand at its Biennial Conference – Fairness at Work, yesterday. CTU president, Helen Kelly said “whether we call it casualisation, precarious work, temporary, or non-standard work – it means that workers have worse conditions, less security, less say and are more vulnerable. That may suit the boss – but it is unfair and does not work for workers.”
The report includes the stories of many workers, including two from polytechnics. It shows that at least 30 percent of New Zealand’s workers – over 635,000 people including 192,000 temporary workers – are in insecure work. Helen Kelly believes at least half of the workforce may actually be in insecure work because there are 95,000 workers who have no usual work time, 61,000 workers have no written employment agreement, 573,000 workers earn less than the Living Wage and almost a quarter of a million workers say they have experienced discrimination, harassment or bullying at work.
“Insecure work for most people means their lives are dominated by work: waiting for it, looking for it, worrying when they don’t have it. They often don’t have paid holidays – which can mean no holidays at all. They miss family time. They often don’t have sick leave. They are vulnerable if they try to assert their rights or raise any concerns. They are exposed to dangerous working conditions and have to accept low wages. They can’t make commitments – to family time, to sports teams, to community or church activities, to mortgages, or even to increasing their skills. This is not the kind of working life most Kiwis want.”
The report Under Pressure: Insecure Work in New Zealand is on the CTU’s website.