Re: Knee Jerk
jake's got a point. Just because Uber are a bunch of exploitative scumbags, doesn't mean that everyone is getting screwed.
There's been a big campaign in Blight about zero hours contracts and how evil they are. And, of course, in some cases they are.
But the ONS regularly survey the workforce nationally. And ZHC's fluctuate around the level of 2 or 3 percent of the workforce and have for years. And 70% of the peole on them (from the last report I read a couple of years ago) were perfectly happy with what they were getting. i.e. they were asked do you want more hours or even a full-time job. And while some people do - it was about 20% wanted a full-time job and 10% wanted more hours - the rest were getting roughly what they wanted from the arrangement.
So we need to be careful to structure our laws to stop the abusive practises - while still allowing companies and workers to come to mutually beneficial arrangements.
So the thing we really need to stop is big companies who control large parts of the market from simply using this as a way to cut costs.
[Warning! Incoming big old horrible generalisation alert!]
It's a bit like the difference between European and US employment laws. In the US you've a lot less protection and job security, in general. This is worse for you. However the US economy generally pulls out of recessions much more quickly than the European economies do, because companies can get people in earlier and start to recover, knowing that if the recession comes back again they can get rid of them. But European companies are more cautious, because the costs of firing are higher.
The result is the US gets a few percent extra growth every economic cycle, which adds up to them being richer than us over the long term, at the price of more stress for workers.
And of course now you get this resulting in job security inequality in Europe. Where the state and heavily unionised (with generally older workers) in places like France (and to a lesser extent) Germany still get all the benefits of old, but young workers are left out in the cold with loopholes and mini-jobs and temp jobs. So you've got young voters desperate for change, and older workers wanting to keep things like they were in the past - in a system they're still benefiting from but most people under 40 aren't.