John McLellan: Union denying workers the right to be satisfied

There have been complaints about some Fringe workers being exploited (Picture: PA)
There have been complaints about some Fringe workers being exploited (Picture: PA)
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Fringe venues have come under fire by the Unite union for exploitation of staff, and a presentation by union official Bryan Simpson at last week’s economy committee painted a dismal picture of young people being taken for a ride by heartless promoters.

In such a sprawling event with many different operators, it is inevitable that problems will arise so the city council supports the Fair Fringe charter, but over-regulation and control could compromise the benefits enjoyed by most.

A Fringe Society survey of 497 workers revealed 79 per cent did not experience poor working practices and 83 per cent were either very satisfied or satisfied with their experience.

Yet when I asked Mr Simpson if he acknowledged that a clear majority of workers were content, he couldn’t bring himself to say yes.

It’s a funny union that denies workers the right to be satisfied with their lot, or maybe that’s not the point.

READ MORE: Council told to look after Fringe workers’ rights