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September 12, 2014 / politicsbitesize

Unions call for a pay rise

BritainPayThe leader of the TUC claimed earlier this week that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing, leading to the restoration of an ‘upstairs-downstairs’ class system. During her speech at the annual conference on Monday, General Secretary Francis O’Grady warned that despite the green shoots of the recent economic recovery, large numbers of working households are still being forced into low-paid and precarious jobs.

Ms O’Grady railed against the unequal distribution of income that is obvious in a society where profit margins and prices go up but wages stagnante. She asked the 500 strong delegation in Liverpool, ‘Are we going to settle for a nastier and poorer Britain – a Downton Abbey-style society, in which the living standards of the vast majority are sacrificed to protect the high living of the well-to-do?

The main message delivered by the TUC conference was that it is high time for the workers of Britain to get the pay rise that they so desperately need. According to a report from the BBC, the national minimum wage for workers over 21 is set to rise to £6.50 next month, which is the first real-term increase since the financial crisis began in 2008. Ms O’Grady has urged the Chancellor George Osborne to go further by committing to the TUC’s call for employers to begin paying the living wage, which will mean that people will be paid according to the cost of living in their area.

The Governor of the Bank of England acknowledged her call for a better wage when he addressed the conference on Tuesday. Mark Carney told unions that they were right to ask ‘when will Britain get a pay rise?’ and confirmed that the real wages of UK citizens have fallen by 10% since 2008, which is the most significant drop since the 1920s.

The TUC is organising a march and rally in London on the 18th October on the issue of pay. With six weeks to go we can help spread the word that Britain Needs a Pay Rise. Tweet this message using #18OctLondon and join the march to take a stand against low pay in the UK.

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