Filmmaker Ken Loach has been praised for raising the issue of worker's rights and taking the 'gig economy' to task on last night's Question Time.
The veteran director detailed on incident in which a 53-year-old van driver with diabetes was so fearful of losing wages by taking a day off and being fined for not finding a replacement, that he missed vital doctors appointments.
Don Lane, who was a DPD courier from Dorset, later collapsed and died.
“You tell me that's justified. You tell me that's right, that a worker is so terrified of a day off for a sickness because he will be fined,” Loach said.
“That's the gig economy, and that's what it's doing to working people.”
Many praised the words of the director of movies including Kes, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and I, Daniel Blake, sharing their thoughts on Twitter.
Ken Loach on zero hours contracts was knockout#bbcqt— Angus B MacNeil MP (@AngusMacNeilSNP) October 24, 2019
Ken Loach absolutely magnificent on #bbcqt. Incisive points steeped deeply in common sense, humanity, and contempt for the cruelty and chaos of a Tory government.— Views from Nowhere (@ViewsFrmNowhere) October 24, 2019
Also showing Norman Lamont and Kate Andrews as the clueless, heartless clowns they are, over #ZeroHoursContracts pic.twitter.com/BapLkMTKZ8
The director himself also tweeted:
KL* The gig economy, or casual work - your work can be turned on and off like a tap - its mainly about exploitation. Bogus self employment like van drivers who drive what you order online - they have no sick pay, no holiday pay.. #bbcqt— Ken Loach & Sixteen Films (@KenLoachSixteen) October 25, 2019
Loach's latest movie, Sorry We Missed You, follows the life of a self-employed van driver who is driven to the brink.
It has been praised by critics as a powerful snapshot of injustice in modern Britain.
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw wrote: “I was hit in the solar plexus by this movie, wiped out by the simple honesty and integrity of the performances.”
The Financial Times noted: “In the end credits he [Loach] gives thanks to those drivers whose testimony informed the film but who wished to remain anonymous. He is their much-needed voice and remains that of our moral conscience.”