Queen's Jubilee Workers Slept Outside Without Pay While Media Fawns Over Royals, Gets Daily Show Skewering

Here's a bit of news that might cause even the stiffest upper lip to tremble with indignation.

While the pomp and circumstance and insanely fancy headgear of the Queen's diamond jubilee occupies the media (see below), a scandal that echoes centuries of class oppression unfolds--unemployed youths seeking work experience appear to have been horribly exploited by a security firm that hired them to prepare for the event:

Up to 30 jobseekers and another 50 people on apprentice wages were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth on Saturday before the pageant on Sunday as part of the government's work programme.

Two jobseekers, who did not want to be identified in case they lost their benefits, later told the Guardian that they had to camp under London Bridge overnight, to change into security gear in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours, and were taken to a swampy campsite outside London after working a 14-hour shift in the pouring rain on the banks of the Thames on Sunday.

A politician, Lord Prescott is launching an investigation: 

He wrote: "It is totally unacceptable that young unemployed people were bussed in... and forced to sleep out in the cold overnight before stewarding a major event with no payment.

"I am deeply concerned that a private security firm is not only providing policing on the cheap but failing to show a duty of care to its staff and threatening to withdraw an opportunity to work at the Olympics as a means to coerce them to work unpaid."

Prescott, who is running to be the elected police and crime commissioner for the Humberside police force area, ended the letter by calling for an investigation into the matter and calling for CPUK's contract for the Olympics to be urgently reviewed.

Meanwhile, John Stewart had plenty of his special brand ire and mockery for the media's fawning coverage of the spectacle:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at June 5, 2012, 5:12am

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