The British Government’s strategic and financial attack on the working and middle classes is finally beginning to impact the zombie community. Already the most discriminated-against and hated minority in the nation, we now find our employment rights are being whittled away in favour of the more able-bodied and economically viable.
Zombie workers are already paid – on average – five times less than their living counterparts, and now it seems we’re rapidly becoming the scapegoats of a very unhappy workforce. Claude Jenkins, a union representative in his former and current incarnation, filled me in: “The reports of discrimination and abuse are disturbing: zombies being made to work in separate offices because their colleagues complain about the smell, zombies being forced to wear bags over their heads, zombies being bullied until they saw their own heads off with fear … and it’s getting worse.”
He gave me full access to the huge pile of case files on his desk, and as I read through each sad and desperate story a disturbing trend became apparent: zombies are being forced out of work as employers, suffering from the worst recession in living memory, struggle to save costs.
“It’s all about the pensions,” Claude advised. “They can’t afford to pay our pensions for all eternity, so they’re getting rid of undead staff by any means necessary.” In light of this, Claude’s union, the ZTU, will lead approximately 1 million zombie workers through a rolling wave of nationwide strikes throughout the year. “It’s drastic,” he said, “but we’ve ran out of options.”
So that I could witness for myself the financial and emotional devastation caused by the Government’s policies for myself, Claude invited me to a self-help group in central Birmingham. I stapled on my best pair of ears for the occasion.
“It’s about fairness,” Jean Bankroft, a Legal PA from Northampton told me. “We still have families to support, bills to pay … you know?” I did. “Just because we’re decomposing it doesn’t mean we don’t like to wear nice clothes and go out occasionally.”
Pat McMahan, a former benefits advisor from Manchester agreed. “It’s no better in the public sector,” he said. “I got dismissed because my face sloughed off in front of a customer. It wasn’t my fault she had a nervous disposition and ended up in a secure ward. Now I can’t get a job anywhere.”
The stories were depressingly similar and I left with a heavy heart in my bloody hands. At a time like this, a gal needs comfort food.
Unfortunately, it seems there’s no quick solution for our woes. Recent legislative changes to British employment law have made it nigh-on impossible for the aggrieved to take their unscrupulous employers to Tribunal. The qualifying period for unfair dismissal has just risen to two years for staff employed on or after 6 April 2012 and, as many recently-reanimated comrades have found, employment contracts are automatically renewed upon reanimation, meaning they now fall within the new qualifying period.
“It’s just so unfair,” Tommy Chang, an IT manager at Cackita in Birmingham said. “I can’t even bring my lunch to work any more. I offered to gag him, and keep him chained in the stock cupboard but they wouldn’t have it. I mean, the bankers caused this recession; why are we paying for it?”