Jeremy Corbyn condemns Glastonbury 'zero hours contracts' and says he is 'happy to talk about it' with organisers

Labour leader's spokesman said he is 'opposed to those forms of contract everywhere'

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Thursday 06 July 2017 08:16 BST
Jeremy Corbyn (right) with Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis
Jeremy Corbyn (right) with Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis (Getty)

Jeremy Corbyn has said he opposes the use of zero hours contracts by Glastonbury and would be happy to raise the issue with its organisers.

The Labour leader, who received rapturous applause from the festival’s main stage, said the contracts should not have been used and pledged to abolish them if he wins power.

The Independent revealed last week how Glastonbury Festival hired hundreds of workers from across Europe on zero hours contracts and then fired them after just two days.

Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said there had been an “explosion of insecure employment” and that Labour is opposed to it.

Asked whether ticket prices should go up to allow organisers to pay more, he said it is up to Glastonbury how they run the event, but added: “In terms of employment contracts, those contracts should not be taking place and we are opposed to them and when we are next in Government we will outlaw them.

“We’ve made quite clear we are opposed to those forms of contract everywhere.”

Asked if he would raise it at Glastonbury next time if he goes, he said: “He’s happy to raise it right now.”

Mr Corbyn’s spokesman would not say if he was prepared to boycott the event outright if nothing changes.

Organisers were accused of taking advantage of some 700 people signed up as litter pickers, expecting two weeks of paid employment, but who were let go after two days – leaving many stranded and out of pocket in the Somerset countryside.

Workers had travelled from countries including Czech Republic, Spain, Poland and Latvia after being handed zero hours contracts to help with the large-scale clean-up operation on Worthy Farm.

Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury: Labour leader gives rousing speech before Run The Jewels set

Good weather, as well as the use of charity workers and on-site litter crews during the festival, meant there was less rubbish after the event finished and up to 600 workers are understood to have been laid off.

Mr Corbyn won a rapturous reception on-stage at last month's festival, with cheering crowds chanting his name to the tune of the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.

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