The Problem with Precarious Work

Precarious work typically refers to any type of employment that is considered non-standard, including casual work, temporary work, work with no set hours and work without benefits or pension. Generally speaking, precarious work offers no job security whatsoever and often pays poorly.

Precarious work is quickly becoming extremely common across many industries, but is specifically permeating service-sector jobs. Don’t get us wrong; these types of jobs have their perks, which is why some people intentionally choose this style of work. For example, precarious work offers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to hours and working location. There are however, many challenges associated with precarious jobs.

No security

As mentioned earlier, precarious work is work that is unstable and unprotected. Workers in these situations often know where their next pay cheque is coming from, but beyond that, they couldn’t tell you.

No benefits

In addition to lack of job security, precarious work also means no benefits. No healthcare, no pension plan, and the list goes on. This means that on top of trying to make a living wage, workers are also expected to pay for all their own medical expenses as well as save for retirement.


There are many jobs out there that are unpredictable as far as work hours go and precarious work tends to possess this trait as well. Workers in these types of positions often don’t know exactly how many hours they’ll be asked to work in the future and when those hours will be. This of course, translates to inconsistent pay checks and an overall uncertain and undependable salary.

As mentioned previously, precarious work certainly has its benefits, but its challenges are un-doubtable. Precarious work makes it highly difficult for workers to plan for the future as far as purchasing a home or starting a family. And although precarious work is sometimes unavoidable, at Teamsters 987, we believe that employers should be held accountable to fair working standards. If you are currently working for an employer in a precarious role, you can unionize your workplace to set the bar higher and achieve certain standards. Contact us to learn more!

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