Review of ‘Hired’ by James Bloodworth

Angry Workers of the World

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Comparisons with George Orwell abound as Bloodworth goes undercover to investigate the murky depths of the low-waged sector in the UK. He says his aim is to merely describe what he sees – although as a former editor of Left Foot Forward, he is, of course, partisan. His other aim is to tackle some of the myths of poverty and show how ubiquitous poor working conditions are in the UK’s low-waged sector, which has seen the biggest share of new jobs in the economic ‘recovery’ since 2008. His experiences at Amazon, Uber, a call centre and as a careworker are more like snapshots of a broken world, where the bottom has fallen out of social, working class life. What we are left with is a hollowed out and transient workforce, with little glue to hold people together. The pace of work is getting faster, productivity is being surveilled and recorded…

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