Usdaw is urging the LPC to at least continue with increases that will take the National Living Wage (NLW) to the target 60% of median earnings by 2020; also for NLW to be paid from the age of 18. NLW only covers workers aged 25 and over, which means that almost a third of retail staff are excluded from it. The union presented its case to the LPC at a hearing in London last month as part of the commission’s 2018 consultation.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“We have five Usdaw members attending the LPC evidence session in Birmingham to talk about the difficulties of making ends meet in low-paid employment. While the cost of living is rising sharply, wage growth has been sluggish. The minimum wage needs to increase significantly to address the squeeze on living standards and Usdaw continues to campaign for £10 per hour.
“We have very real concerns about hours of work as well as the rate of pay. Insecure work is a real problem for many. Those who are on zero-hours or short-hours contracts find it difficult to plan their finances as their income can vary week to week and is not guaranteed. Their employment is insecure and we want workers to have the right to contracted hours that match the average hours they work.
“Usdaw is also extremely concerned about the pay gap for young workers. For many young workers, being denied the so-called National Living Wage pay rate reinforces the already desperate position that they are experiencing. They work just as hard as their older colleagues and have many of the same responsibilities outside of work, such as housing costs, transport costs and bringing up families.
“The Low Pay Commission makes evidence based decisions and we welcome them giving our members a hearing today. Low pay is one of the biggest issues facing workers and world of employment today.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with more than 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion