Number of zero hours workers doubles in north west

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The number of zero hours and agency contracted workers has doubled in the north west since 2011, according to the GMB union.

Research findings, presented to the union’s annual congress, reveal 190,000 workers in the region are currently in insecure jobs, up from 95,000 six years ago.

The union says up to 10m people are currently in insecure work in the UK – up to a third of the workforce is in “precarious” employment.

Paul McCarthy, GMB regional secretary, said: “These figures lift the lid on the insecure reality of the modern world of work.

“Here on our own doorstep in the North West we are witnessing an epidemic of precarious work - and it is growing at a frightening rate among our women workers.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are going to work either not knowing what their hours are, if they’ll be able to pay the bills, or what their long term prospects are.

“Many of these companies can afford to treat their workers better but instead put fat profit margins before people. We need a government that is prepared to take action to tackle the scourge of agency work and ban zero hour contracts as has been done in other countries.

“Theresa May and her team of Tories refused to help those who are struggling to gain secure work, while Labour has a proper plan of action.”