TUC calls for action on low pay

Date published: 15 November 2019

Over a fifth of North West employees are paid below the real living wage rate, new figures shared by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveal today (Friday 15 November).

The real living wage rate, set by the Living Wage Foundation, was increased to £9.30 per hour this week, as new employers in the region announced their accreditation to the scheme.

However, figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) estimate that 629,000 jobs, representing 21.1% of jobs, pay below that rate, slightly higher than the UK average of 20.1%.

Locally, In the Rochdale constituency, 22% of employees receive a wage below the living wage and in the Heywood and Middleton constituency, 27% of employees receive a wage below the living wage.

TUC North West regional secretary, Jay McKenna, said: “It’s great that we’ve seen more employers become voluntarily accredited to pay staff a wage that they can live on. They’re doing the right thing by their workers and paying their share. But these numbers show that for too many, low pay is a problem that isn’t going away.

“The impact on working families is clear for all to see. We’ve seen the growth in food bank use, from people in work also, and we have workers across the country taking strike action just to squeeze an extra couple of pounds from their employer so they have a wage they can live on.

“Working families everywhere deserve better than having to scrape by, loading the everyday essentials onto a credit card or cutting back. For too long, wages have been held back by this government. We need a £10 an hour minimum wage as soon as possible.

“We need unions to be able to access workplaces to collectively bargain for members, because we all know that joining a union is the best way to secure better pay.”

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