by Tim Lezard Shocking stories about modern day working conditions in the South West of England – including a man who had to pay for his own taxi to hospital after injuring his leg while packing goods for Marks and Spencers – feature in a new hard-hitt …

Tim Lezard UK, Retail, Services (UNI), GMB, UCATT,

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Shocking stories about modern day working conditions in the South West of England – including a man who had to pay for his own taxi to hospital after injuring his leg while packing goods for Marks and Spencers – feature in a new hard-hitting publication by the South West TUC.

West Country Workers lifts the lid on how employers are using the recession as an excuse to reduce workers’ rights and pay, peering into the murky world of zero-hour contracts and bogus self-employment to tell the human stories behind the statistics.

South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said: “The government trumpets a growth in jobs, but these jobs are insecure and badly-paid. Workers have suffered the deepest cuts in wages since 2010, with one in five earning less than the Living Wage of £7.85 an hour.

“Unions are fighting back. By acting together workers can secure better terms and conditions at work. Workers in unionised workplaces tale home higher pay, are better trained, have enhanced sickness and pensions benefits, have more holiday and have more flexible working hours.

“In West Country Workers we expose bad employers but also highlight the best examples of unions making a difference and making life ether for people at work.”

West Country Workers also investigates the practice of forced self-employment, looks at the working conditions of couriers, the impact and indignities of job-seeking in rural communities, and talks to the music teachers and librarians facing redundancy.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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