Temporary work tangles in Universal Credit

scottish unemployed workers' network

Strawberry

Blair, who we met this week, lost his job some weeks back and is still waiting for his first payment of Universal Credit. He is also young and fit and responded to an advertisement for a picking job at a local fruit farm. When he rang them he was surprised to be asked about his nationality and whether he spoke English. The farm never got back to him.

As we explained in last week’s post on the use of migrant labour for berry picking, Blair doesn’t fit fruit-farming’s current business model. This relies on a labour force that will put up with pressured conditions without complaint, because if they are sacked they will be left without anything in a foreign country, and because the pay they are getting is worth more when they get back to Eastern Europe. Our blog was widely shared, but only one person mentioned doing recent…

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