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General Secretary Slams Insecure Work At Congress

Monday, June 5, 2017


GMB General Secretary Tim Roache called for action to tackle the growth of insecure Britain  at the union’s 100th congress today.

A new GMB report released today shows up to 10million UK workers - a third of the workforce - are trapped in insecure employment. [1]

Mr Roache told delegates that an economic model that allows business to keep workers in insecure positions just to help their bottom line is ‘hurting workers and hurting the nation’.

A GMB poll asked 1,000 precarious workers about their finances and priorities and found:

- 61% had suffered stress or anxiety as a result of their current job

- 61% said they have been to work while unwell for fear of not being paid, losing their job or missing out on future hours

- 35% would struggle to cope with an unexpected bill for £500, such as a car needing repairs or washing machine needing to be replaced

- 69% say their cost of living is rising faster than their earnings

- 78% previously had permanent employment, highlighting the changing nature of the workplace

More than 1,000 GMB delegates have gathered in Plymouth for the union show piece event, which ends tomorrow.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

"Employers and governments put the flexible labour market on a pedestal but that flexibility is flexibility for employers to exploit, not the flexibility our members need for childcare, to look after elderly relatives or to get a decent work-life balance.

"The abuse of agency contracts is rife across Britain. Insecure work has become a business model for many companies.

“Keeping workers on insecure contracts with inferior terms and conditions might make employers a few more quid, but it’s hurting workers, it’s hurting their families, it’s hurting their communities and it’s hurting our nation.

He added:

“Forgive my scepticism when Theresa May says she’s going to roll out the greatest expansion of workers’ rights of any Tory government – it wouldn’t be bloody hard would it?

“Theresa May, the artful dodger who dodges every key question, if she hasn’t dodged the debate altogether.

“This from a Prime Minister who wants to nick your house to pay for care costs if you get dementia.”


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors:

[1] Up To 10 Million Insecure UK Workers Monday, June 5, 2017

Shocking poll unveiled at GMB’s 100th Annual Congress, shows up to a third of the workforce is in precarious employment.

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