Unite calls on Celtic to end use of zero hour contracts

Unite have written to Celtic. Picture: John Devlin.
Unite have written to Celtic. Picture: John Devlin.
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The UK’s biggest trade union has called on Celtic FC to scrap the use of “exploitative” zero hour contracts.

Members of Unite the Union have written to the club’s chief executive Peter Lawwell to express concerns over low-paid staff.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell.

The union’s Scottish youth committee said they were aware that some employees in the Glasgow club’s retail stores are working on zero-hours contracts, which do not provide a guaranteed weekly wage.

The committee is now seeking a meeting with Lawwell to address the issue.

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The letter comes in a week which saw Sports Direct buckle to union pressure and offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours as well as ensuring all warehouse staff are paid above the National Minimum Wage.

Celtic questioned the motives behind the committee’s correspondance.

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Unite’s letter says: “The Unite youth committee is acutely aware of the proud history that Celtic FC has and its historical traditions.

“From its inception as a football club ‘formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed’, to its outstanding community outreach and social mobility programmes, Celtic FC has the proud reputation of being more than just a club.

“However, the use of exploitative zero-hours contracts contradicts the proud tradition of Celtic FC of being a vehicle of social mobility and social justice.

Being trapped within a zero-hours lifestyle by not knowing when you will next get another wage, by not knowing if you have enough money to survive until the next shift is in complete opposition to the values ingrained within the traditions of Celtic FC.”

A spokesman for the club told the media: “The first communication of any kind that we received from this organisation was a letter which was released simultaneously to the media.

“We have to question the motivation behind it and why Celtic, of all the companies in Scotland, was targeted in this way.

“We have excellent relationships with our workforce and we will continue to discuss employment related issues with them in an open and constructive manner and not through the media.”

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