Night Workers: London’s Unseen Migrant Workforce

Migrants make up an important part of London’s night economy. No previous research has focused on both nightwork and migrants in London. This series of reports brings to light some of the major problems with nightwork and the precarious lives of migrant night workers.

Where do they come from? Why do they work at night? And how does night work impact their social and family lives? This research makes two important points:

1 – Nightwork should be regarded as important as daywork and regluated as such.
2 – Migrant night workers are particularly vulnerable because of the nature of the work and their economic situation.

Please click on the links below for an in-depth look at Migrant Night Workers in London.

[h3]Night Workers: London’s Unseen Migrant Workforce[/h3]

In order for London to have a 24 hour society, many people must staff our restaurants, hotels, shops, shipping, and factories that run around-the-clock. The mini cab and bus drivers, market traders, night staff in hospitals or cafes, city traders, firemen, and night cleaners work long nights in London and can be seen on every street corner and in every building. London’s night workers are by and large migrants who are willing to take up unsociable hours, low paid jobs, and sometimes dangerous working conditions because of sometime desperate situations. [Read More…]

[h3]Night Workers: Profiles of Market trader,Rickshaw Driver and a Chef in Chinatown[/h3]

Zaheer (a Pakistani market trader), Faruk (a Bangladeshi rickshaw driver) and Zheng (a Chinese chef) are night workers in London. Their life stories combine an amazing set of migration trajectories, motivations for moving to the UK, and their aspirations for a brighter future in Britain. Despite discrimination, working in dangerous conditions and on poverty pay, their journeys of resilience and determination bring out why every human is searching for a better life. [Read More…]

[h3]Key Problems with Nightwork[/h3]

London’s migrant night workforce face several key problems including: forced labour, health problems, debt bondage, poverty pay rates and risk to personal safety whilst on nightshift. We discuss how each effects migrants and how employers across the UK are taking advantage of night workers as a vulnerable demographic. [Read More…]

[h3]Recommendations for Improving Night Workers’ Livelihoods[/h3]

London’s migrants working nightshifts are not a demographic to be ignored. Yet, these workers are invisible and their problems are not being seriously addressed by policy makers. We identified the following areas to improve the lives of migrants: increase poverty pay to living wage, enforce existing legislation to limit nightshifts to eight hours, organise night workers to mobilise and defend their rights and livelihoods, and regulate certain sectors of nightwork to protect the workers. [Read More…]


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