Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers' Rights will be a short documentary film exploring the exploitative reality of zero hours contracts for many young workers across the country, specifically in the UK fast food industry: an industry where workers are beginning to organise for the first time. It will be comprised of interviews with workers on zero hours contracts, animations and industry footage.
The film will also look to the recent struggle of fast food workers in the USA, who have been fighting for a $15 dollars an hour and Union rights. These workers have started to make real gains with their demands and we will explore how similar movements are now developing in the UK in the fast food industry.
Zero hours contracts disproportionately affect those aged under 25 and they are becoming particularly widespread in a number of industries. The film will document their experiences of work and life under these contracts.
The film will ultimately show how younger and vulnerable workers, such as those on zero hour contracts, can improve their working conditions by both organising in the workplace, and joining a Trade Union.
In the film:
As young workers who have experienced the unfair reality of low-paid, zero hours contracts first hand, we wanted to create a documentary exposing their supposed ‘flexibility’for the lie that it really is: naked exploitation.
The main objective of Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers’Rights is to explore the real nature of working conditions for thousands of young workers on these contracts and to stress the importance of joining a Trade Union—and fighting back.
We want our film to be available as an educational resource for Trade Unions, activists and campaign groups to use in order to encourage young people, and vulnerable workers, to join a Trade Union.
Many young people are completely unaware of the role that Trade Unions play in improving rights and conditions in the workplace. TUC and STUC initiatives such as Unions into Schools are doing incredible work educating young people about the benefits of Union membership, and we want to help.
Young people represent the next generation of workers. By emphasising the integral role that Unions play in improving conditions and safeguarding employment rights, we hope to play our part in boosting the participation of under 25 year olds in Trade Unions across the country.
Who are we?
UniteFightFILM are a small group of young activists, Trade Unionists and filmmakers based in Glasgow, Scotland. We formed in June 2015, in response to the Tory government’s fresh attacks on Trade Unions and workers' rights.
Involved in community and workplace organising, and active in a number of Trade Unions (mainly the BFAWU), we were brought together by a mutual love of film as a medium to effect change. We are all volunteers, juggling day jobs and work on a not-for-profit basis.
We are approaching Trade Unions, campaigns and organisations to ask for any donations towards helping make our documentary a success. For a small, one-off donation we are happy to give Unions the right to use our film as an educational resource.
Getting young people active in organisations is an issue that affects every Trade Union and the Labour Movement as a whole.
The involvement of those under 25 is crucial to the long-term sustainability of workers’ organisations. Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers’Rights is being made by young people, for young people, and we hope that it will help to improve the overall engagement of those under 25 with Trade Unions.
We need your help though. In a spirit of solidarity, we are asking Trade Unions to consider sparing a donation to help us create a resource that will hopefully encourage young and vulnerable workers to join a Union.
Whilst workers in your industry may not suffer from exploitative zero hours contracts currently, they are becoming increasingly widespread in many industries and represent a threat to your members’ rights that must be countered. Zero hours contracts not only exploit the most vulnerable workers in society, they also undermine the collective bargaining power Unions have spent a century developing.
Please consider donating to our project to encourage young people to join a Union: an injury to one, is an injury to all.
 Office for National Statistics press release, Sept 2015. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/contracts-with-no-guaranteed-hours/employee-contracts-that-do-not-guarantee-a-minimum-number-of-hours--2015-update-/index.html