Precariat – the new euphemism for temp worker in the UK.
It’s traveled around Europe and Japan, and now, it’s become a buzzword akin to Socialism in Britain. It’s used as a way to describe the working class as a social group, for the workers who have precarious job security that resulted from global employment policies.
Much of the precariat coverage comes from University of Bath economic security professor Guy Standing, who wrote a book called “Precariat: The New Dangerous Class.”
I haven’t read it, but when I first saw the title, for obvious reasons I took it to mean precariats are a threat to the recovering economy.
I read further editorials from the author, which makes the term almost come across as an epidemic.
In a Policy Network editorial, Standing wrote, “It consists of a multitude of insecure people, living bits-and-pieces lives, in and out of short-term jobs, without a narrative of occupational development, including millions of frustrated educated youth who do not like what they see before them, millions of women abused in oppressive labour, growing numbers of criminalised tagged for life, millions being categorized as ‘disabled’ and migrants in their hundreds of millions around the world.”
So basically, 90% of the population.
Standing says precariats are becoming disenchanted with their future of poor working conditions and temporary jobs.
According to a Bloomsbury Academic review of Standing’s book, the author suggests that a “basic wage” be given to everyone, by the state, “which could be topped up through employment.”
Standing also happens to be an honorary co-president for the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), a non-governmental organization working on creating “an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement.”
In America, we call that welfare.
In what I’m reading, Standing alludes to the notion that the precariat’s socioeconomical status leads to a flow chart of depression, identity crises, inability to function in society and possible uprising.
“They realize that in their dealing with others there is no shadow of the future hanging over them, since they are unlikely to be dealing with those people tomorrow,” Standing wrote in a June 1 Guardian editorial. “The precariatised mind is one without anchors, fitting from subject to subject, in the extreme suffering from attention deficit disorder.”
In my book, the precariat could universally describe just about anyone today.
Standing describes the rise of the precariat as if they’re going to riot.
Against who, I’m not sure. The government? The temporary workers who prefer a flexible workforce? The upper class?
If it’s equality you’re after, the Agency Workers Regulations could take care of part of the problem when they go into effect on Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, I’m going to wait and see what happens when the precariat movement jumps the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S.