Hired by James Bloodworth review – undercover in low-wage Britain

The Guardian - Feb 21, 09:59 GMT

An inquiry into the precarious employment conditions of the ‘new working class’One in 20 people in Britain lives on the minimum wage

An inquiry into the precarious employment conditions of the ‘new working class’

One in 20 people in Britain lives on the minimum wage. Most of them are on zero-hours contracts working in dingy warehouses (euphemistically termed “fulfilment centres”), private care homes, call centres or as Uber drivers. Like a 21st-century George Orwell, Bloodworth has gone undercover, experiencing for himself the precarious employment conditions of the “new working class” in towns across Britain, to reveal the dark side of the modern economy.

At Amazon he walked 10 miles a day in a vast warehouse where workers were treated “as if we were convicts” and scarcely had time for toilet breaks. As a home care worker he admits spending less than 10 minutes on some visits and as an Uber driver he found little of the role’s much-vaunted freedom, but instead became a slave to the company’s algorithm.

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