Glastonbury responds to zero-hours contract controversy
Glastonbury, the UK’s venerable festival, has been under fire as of late for claims of exploitation of their workers. There are claims that organizers of the large scale festival employed workers nationwide for a simple job — litter picking. After a mere two days of work picking trash, nearly 700 were laid off, after the impression that they were contracted for more work hours.
A statement released by Glastonbury yesterday, July 5, responds to these claims:
In response to recent stories in the media, we would like to state that Glastonbury Festival’s post-event litter picking team are all given temporary worker agreements for the duration of the clean-up. As well as being paid, they are provided with free meals and access to on-site facilities.
The length of the clean-up varies considerably from year to year, based largely upon the weather conditions before, during and after the Festival. This is something the litter pickers – many of whom return year after year – are made aware of in their worker agreements (which assure them of a minimum of eight hours’ work).
This year was an unusually dry one for Glastonbury. That, coupled with a fantastic effort from Festival goers in taking their belongings home, meant that the bulk of the litter picking work was completed after 2.5 days (in 2016, a very wet year, the equivalent period was around 10 days).
All but a core crew of litter pickers were advised that there was no further work available after Friday (June 30). Those who weren’t able to leave the site over the weekend were given further meals, plus assistance with travel to nearby towns with public transport links.
We’d like to thank the litter pickers for their work on the clean-up, which was – as always – hugely valued by the Festival.
Jeremy Corbyn, British politician and frontman for the Labour Party, shared his thoughts on the topic as well. His spokesperson revealed that Corbyn holds a firm stance against the zero-hours contracts. His spokesperson went on to note that Corbyn has no plans to lay off the topic, “He is happy to raise it right now…This kind of contract and these kinds of employment conditions are unacceptable.”