Gloria De Piero column: Time for dignity and respect

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Lots of Chad readers will have read the sickening story of Mr Zarins who went to work at Sports Direct with a blood clot on his brain and subsequently collapsed. I’m meeting his daughter, who lives in Kirkby, later this week to see how I can help the family. Can you imagine being so ill and frightened of losing your job that you go into work rather than phoning in sick because you might get a black mark against your name? The majority of the 5,000 or so workers at the site are on zero hours or casual contracts and I know some of you will be among them. It’s about time workers are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve starting with a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and banning the exploitative use of zero hours contracts. That’s why I’m proud Labour will stand up for workers by increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour and under a future Labour Government if you work regular hours you will have a legal right to a regular contract. Simple as that.

I’ve had loads of emails, tweets and messages on Facebook complaining about the lack of gritting during the snowy and icy spell that hit us just after Christmas and also the fact that some bins went uncollected. It’s not good enough and I have made my thoughts abundantly clear to council chiefs. Despite being told all bins should have been collected by now, judging from the feedback I’m getting this is still not the case, so I’m compiling a list of outstanding streets and I expect all of those affected to be sorted and sorted quickly. I’ve also been on at bosses responsible for gritting to ask what preparations they are putting in place if and when the next bout of snow falls in order to avoid a repeat of recent events. For those of you that have already contacted me about your street or particular area, I’ve now flagged up where you live with the powers that be and I’ve flagged up places where many older residents live too. If others want me to do the same and ask about the plans for your street then just drop me a line.

Finally, you may remember I told you about residents in Huthwaite who had botched work carried out under the Government’s ECO scheme which is meant to make homes more energy efficient. I had initially been contacted by over 50 people living on Newcastle Street, Columbia Street, New Street, Barker Street, Lime Avenue and Sutton Road whose homes had been damaged as a result and over 100 properties have been affected in total. I took up their cases and so far I can confirm that almost a quarter of those homes have now been fully repaired while the remaining properties outstanding have all been carded for work to be carried out. I’ll continue to keep people updated until everyone is 100% satisfied.