I have previously blogged concerning the appalling treatment of unpaid stewards during the British Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, but other blogs and media have covered it with greater finesse. I might have missed some worthy contributions, please let me know in the comments box.
This debacle even has its own twitter tag, #jubileestewards.
Belfast Telegraph, Firm in row over unpaid Jubilee stewards to have Olympic fire safety role.
The Edinburgh Eye’s Workfare and the Big Society is very good.
At the Indy, Jubilee workfare: A Dickensian tale brought to life.
At Channel 4, Concerns over cheap Olympics labour.
This details what happened:
“On Friday, I spoke to one of the 30 unpaid people at the heart of the controversy. This young woman had been made redundant early last year. Eventually, she was referred by her jobcentre adviser to Tomorrow’s People, a charity administering the work programme, and persuaded to train for a qualification in security work. As part of her training, she had already worked for nothing, but only once: at a football match, “observing the crowd and making sure there were no issues”, with six other people on the same scheme. When she and others were informed about the jubilee weekend, she said, they were at first told they would be paid around £400, “but at the last minute, they said, ‘You’re not getting anything – it’s work experience’.”
Sleeping under London bridge, she said, had been impossible: “It was too cold, it was raining, and there were way too many people.” She thus started work at 9.30am, having had no sleep for upwards of 20 hours. She put on her work clothes “in public, in the cold”. Breakfast – “piddly”, she said – had not arrived until 9.15am. The first chance she had to use a toilet, she claimed, was at 2pm. She was supposed to stop work 12 hours after she started, “but me and some other people gave up, cos we were that cold and wet, at six o’clock.” She was then told to take the tube to the end of the Central line, whereupon she called her mother and stepfather almost 150 miles away and asked them to come and get her. “I was that distraught. I had five layers on, and I was soaked through. I was having trouble breathing. After standing up for nine hours, I had a back spasm; I could barely walk. I’d just had enough.” “
Finally, credit must go to the Political Scrapbook which has provided excellent coverage.