Zero Hours Contract

Are you free next Wednesday?
Sorry mate, I can not say
I won’t be told until the day
And even then, you know I may
Still find that I am called away

I keep the phone on, stare and wait
But I’m not paid an on-call rate
Employment contracts zero hours
See how Emperor Nero towers
Above the streets of Rome which burn
Fiddling figures, claim we earn
A living wage – but that’s a joke
Income going up in smoke
In rent, in food, in tears and flowers
Nothing left from zero hours

Sorry kids, no guarantee 
That I’ll be home in time for tea
Or when our next trip out will be
I guess we’ll have to wait and see
The guv’nor has first claim on me

I’m bloody potless, so to speak
I only got three hours this week
Disposable, dispensible, pick-up-and-droppable
The march of casualisation unstoppable?
Hanging on strings like a marionette
Waiting for nothing, we carry on yet
You miss that call, you’ve missed your chance
Lead our labour a merry dance
Zero rights – it’s clearer now as
Life’s a slave to zero hours.

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