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Usdaw calls for at least £10 minimum wage and an end to rip-off youth rates

Date: 07 June 2019 Shopworkers trade union Usdaw has today responded to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) consultation on minimum wage rates. The LPC is currently taking evidence ahead of making recommendations to the Government about National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates to be introduced on 1 April 2020.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Our response to the Low Pay Commission is evidenced by an extensive survey of over 10,000 members, which exposes the extent to which workers are struggling to make ends meet. So we are calling for a substantial minimum wage increases to tackle the cost of living crisis.
“Going to work should mean a decent standard of living for all workers, not least young workers. Under 27s are more likely to be paid less than older colleagues, even when doing the same job. They also often work hours that are not guaranteed in their contract, so they really need fairer and better pay alongside protection against insecure work.
“Usdaw has campaigned for years to abolish youth rates. As a result of our efforts, youth rates no longer exist in companies like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Morrisons. Usdaw is now campaigning for a national minimum wage of at least £10 per hour for all ages and also calling on the Government to tackle insecure employment contracts.”
Usdaw’s detailed and evidenced submission calls for:
  • A National Living Wage of £10 per hour or more and next year’s increase should at least be in line with the planned target of 60% of median earnings.
  • The National Living Wage to be paid to all workers, with an immediate first step of lowering the unjustifiable 25 year old threshold to 21.
  • In the interim youth rates for 16–17 year olds and 18–20 year olds must have a percentage increase at least in line with the National Living Wage, to make up ground lost in previous years.
  • The Apprenticeship Rate should be immediately raised to the same level as the youth rate and abolished in the longer term to reduce the risk of exploitation.
Usdaw’s full submission to the LPC: www.usdaw.org.uk/LPC2020
Usdaw’s ‘time for better pay’ campaign is calling for:
  • Young workers to be paid the full adult rate.
  • At least £10 per hour minimum wage rate.
  • A ban on zero-hours contracts.
  • Tackling short-hours contracts through a statutory minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for those who want it.
  • A statutory right to an employment contract that reflects an individual’s normal hours of work.
Usdaw’s ‘time for better pay’ petition: www.usdaw.org.uk/T4BP
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Usdaw’s survey of over 10,000 working people about their experiences of low pay, short-hours contracts and insecure work shows that stronger employment rights are urgently needed:
  • Over the past five years, 92% of those surveyed have seen no improvement in their financial situation.
  • Over the past 12 months 76% of low-paid workers have had to rely on unsecured borrowing to pay everyday bills.
  • 63% of people believe that financial worries are having an impact on their mental health.
Usdaw’s survey of 2,000 workers under the age of 27 showed that:
  • Over the past five years, 44% of young workers have seen no improvement in their financial situation.
  • Over the past 12 months, 85% of young workers have had to borrow money to pay everyday bills.
  • Young workers are 50% more likely to rely on insecure hours than their older colleagues.
  • 72% of young workers believe that financial worries are having an impact on their mental health.
Current National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates:
  • 25 and over £8.21
  • 21 to 24    £7.70
  • 18 to 20    £6.15
  • Under 18 £4.35
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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