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Prime Minister keen to criticise Labour, but offers little for working people struggling to make ends meet

Date: 03 October 2018 Shopworkers' trade union leader Paddy Lillis has expressed disappointment with the Prime Minister's speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: "The Prime Minister spent much of her speech criticising Labour, but offered very little to the millions of working families struggling to make ends meet. She claimed 'we get' that the economy doesn't work for 'ordinary people', but offered no help with low-paid and insecure work that affects the well-being of so many workers.

"Low-paid workers need a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour, with a proper contract that reflects the normal hours worked and enough hours every week to make a living. Also for the rollout of Universal Credit to be stopped and for a fundamental rethink of the policy, as it threatens to undermine workers' incomes when they are transferred on to it.

"The Prime Minster today referred to her speech on the steps of Downing Street where she promised to help families who are ‘just about managing’. Her record is that that she has failed and today’s speech offered little more than warm words, which doesn’t put the bread on the table."

Usdaw’s survey of over 10,000 workers has laid bare the issues that working people are facing as a result of low pay, short and zero hours contracts and insecure work:
  • 92% have seen no improvement in their financial situation over the past five years – of these, 63% say they are worse off.
  • 76% of low-paid workers have had to rely on unsecured borrowing to pay everyday bills in the last 12 months.
  • 63% say that financial worries were having an impact on their mental health.
Usdaw’s 'Time for Better Pay' campaign tackles the causes of in-work poverty and seeks to develop an economy where work pays. Using the evidence gathered through our extensive research, the campaign is calling for four key actions:
  • £10 per hour minimum wage for all workers over 18.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week for all employees who want it
  • The right to a contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work
  • An end to the misuse of zero hour contracts.
Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 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

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers