Press Releases


i 5 December 2013, for immediate release

Support Elf Rights! - Activists Come Together For Protest Against Zero Hour Contracts and Workfare

The West / North Yorkshire People's Assembly, Unite Community and Youth Fight For Jobs will gather in Leeds this Saturday - 7th December - for a creative protest over a serious issue.

Dressed as elves, activists will take to the streets of Leeds to protest against zero hours contracts and workfare.

Unite the Union estimates there could be as many as 5.5 million workers on zero hours contracts. Workers on such contracts are guaranteed no hours from week to week and receive no sick pay, paid holidays or even rights at work. Many are left dangling on the end of a phone line, sometimes being told only hours before whether to come to work or not. Without guaranteed hours, they are unable to get mortgages or affordable credit.

Zero hours contracts, the use of which has doubled since 2006, along with workfare (people forced to work for their benefits for free) undermine real jobs.

Andy Sellers from The People's Assembly said:

"Zero hours, workfare and temporary contracts are part and parcel of austerity Britain, where the rich get richer off the backs of the poor and working class. Tax cuts for those in the top bracket are funded by VAT hikes and benefit cuts for the rest of us, forcing many into homelessness and reliance on food banks. If you're on zero hours, get organised - join a union! If you're not but you think people should have the right to a permanent contract and full-time job with rights, get involved in the People's Assembly!"

Companies who use zero hour contracts include Burger King, JD Wetherspoon, Sports Direct, Cineworld, Dominos, Amazon, Boots and McDonalds - 90% of whose staff are on zero hours contracts. Over fifty percent of care workers are on zero hours contracts.

Under the banner 'Zero Hours Contracts = No Holiday Pay, No Sick Pay, No Guaranteed Hours - LOW ELF ESTEEM!' activists in fancy dress will create a lively, festive spectacle.

Notes to editors:

-The People's Assembly Against Austerity is a national forum for anti-austerity views bringing together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice
-Unite The Union's community membership scheme brings together people from across our society
-Youth Fight for Jobs and Education is a campaigning organisation fighting against mass unemployment.


Please email for contact details.

Christmas action around employment issues Christmas action around employment issues