Famed filmmaker Ken Loach slammed the gig economy for killing a van driver in an incredible tirade on BBC Question Time.
Mr Loach said driver Don Lane was so ‘terrified’ of taking a sick day he eventually dropped dead after missing appointments with the doctor.
The socialist director said the diabetes patient feared going to hospital after his employer fined him £150 over a previous visit.
Social media users heaped praise on Mr Loach for speaking out about the gig economy, with some describing him as a ‘working class hero’.
Mr Loach added: “Don Lane was a 53-year-old van driver, he was diabetic, he had an appointment with a specialist at hospital.
“He went, he was fined £150 a day because he didn’t provide a replacement driver. Of course he lost his money and he had to pay for the van he was renting or hiring.
“He had further appointments and he decided not to go because he’d be in debt, he didn’t have the resources, he didn’t go.”
Mr Loach said the van driver gradually fell ill, before he collapsed and died after missing his third appointment.
The director added: “Now you tell me that’s justified, you tell me that’s right – that a worker is so terrified to have a day off for sickness because he’ll be fined and therefore he dies. That’s the gig economy, that’s what it’s doing to working people.”
The Question Time audience cheered and applauded at the end of Mr Loach’s speech.
The socialist director was praised for his passionate rant on Twitter .
One user wrote: “Ken Loach is a bit of a working class hero, but he’s not just telling a story here. This sort of thing is common place in the USA, and the shift in British society towards the US model needs no imagination to see what it will mean for workers. Employment laws need protecting!”
Elizabeth Costello tweeted: “We owe so much to film director Ken Loach @KenLoachSixteen his films have highlighted social realistic issues giving a voice to the many people who don’t have one #gigeconomy #bbcqt .”
Another person said: “Actually Ken Loach talking sense tonight, he was spot on about exploitation of gig workers on zero hour contracts, let’s get real here, it’s exploitation, it’s a bad road to go down I wouldn’t blanket ban them but there has to be a better way forward & they need phasing out #bbcqt .”