Precarious work


In February, Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: A New Dangerous Class, visited New Zealand for a series of talks and workshops on the growing prevalence of insecure work.

PSA Youth worked with CTU Stand Up to organise an inter-union youth-focused event in Auckland.

Guy described a growing class of precarious workers (“The Precariat”) who struggle for meaningful secure work, income security, time, representation, and a sense of identity and life narrative.

Guy challenged unions to better represent the Precariat, including people in between jobs. The youth event was attended by approximately 60 young unionists and community activists. Participants took the time to reflect on Guy Standing’s suggestions and started developing a plan for action. Some of the activities participants said they’d like to do are:

  • helping draft new policy to protect people from being forced into insecure work, and choosing to vote for a political party that adopts the policy
  • start a broad-based campaign for a universal basic income
  • work with community groups and unions to pressure Labour to repeal the latest harmful welfare reforms
  • encourage PSA to expand membership coverage to include people between jobs and incentivise “insecure workers” to join
  • build a put the Living Wage campaign in workplaces.

You can check our pics from the event on Facebook here.

Guy’s visit gave us plenty to reflect on in election year. If you’re interested in getting involved in a campaign on precarious work, email nzstandup@gmail.com to be added to the email list, and have a think about joining a PSA Youth regional election planning workshop!