Being freelance in the age of precarious labour
- a how-to evening on knowing your rights in the gig economy
THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists London Freelance Branch presents an evening of informed debate on the headlong rush by bosses towards making us all freelance - regardless of whether we want to be or not.
The evening will explore some of the dynamic responses from the trade union movement - how we as freelances in any and every line of work are responding to this. There will also be drinks receptions and networking at the start and finish of the evening.
We hope you will join us to hear and discuss cutting-edge theory and bold strategies on how to tackle threats to our hard-earned working rights from a diverse panel of speakers, who are:
Guy Standing - a Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a founder member and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), a non-governmental organisation that promotes a basic income for all. He is author of The Precariat and of A Precariat Charter.
Ursula Huws - Professor of Labour and Globalisation at Hertfordshire Business School where she is currently directing the COST Action IS1202 on the Dynamics of Virtual Work along with other research on creative labour. Ursula is a long-time member of the NUJ. Her recent books include Labor in the Global Digital Economy and The Making of a Cybertariat: Virtual Work in a Real World.
Mags Dewhurst - chair of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain Couriers and Logistics Branch, a relatively new organisation which represents couriers and delivery drivers in London. While working as a London bicycle courier, Mags won a ground-breaking legal battle against the delivery firm CitySprint over being treated by them as self-employed. She won the right to both paid holidays and minimum pay.
The judge said CitySprint had unlawfully failed to award holiday pay by wrongly classifying her as a self-employed freelance instead of considering her as "a worker".
Nicola Hawkins - an executive council member for young members in Equity (the actors' union). Nicola is primarily a London-based actress and she writes: "The acting profession isn't a stable one and I find myself working in all kinds of industries and doing all kinds of jobs when between acting work."
John Toner - Freelance Organiser for the NUJ - joined the NUJ in 1980 and worked on provincial newspapers for 16 years, during which time he served on the NEC and held almost every position in the Union. In 1996 he became a union official, first as North of England Organiser and then as Freelance Organiser from 2001. He has seen has seen the thorny problem of employment status growing from an occasional query to something the Freelance Office advises upon every other day. "It is a boil that needs lancing," John says.
Date and venue:
The event is from 5-9pm on Saturday 11 March, in the Brockway Room at Conway Hall, 25 Red lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.
The nearest tube is Holborn; buses running past the Theobald's Road entrance include the 19, 38, 55, 243 and others go to Holborn and Southampton Row/Kingsway.
The venue is accessible to those who use wheelchairs and an induction-loop system is installed.