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'Real' Living Wage uprating supported by Usdaw, but it's time for at least £10 per hour for all workers

Date: 11 November 2019 Retail trade union leader Paddy Lillis has welcomed today’s increase in Living Wage rates, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, and continues to call for at least £10 per hour for workers of all ages.
The Living Wage Foundation has today announced new rates for the ‘real’ Living wage of £9.30 per hour and a higher rate of £10.75 in London. The so-called ‘National Living Wage’ is currently £8.21, with lower National Minimum Wage rates for younger workers.
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We welcome the input of the Living Wage Foundation. Their Living Wage rates are calculated based on an individual’s cost of living and clearly show that the Government’s so-called ‘National Living Wage’ is nothing of the sort.
 
“Usdaw has consistently campaigned for at least £10 per hour for all workers over 16, alongside ‘London weighting’ pay. In the midst of a general election it is clear that only Labour will deliver on that as soon as they take office.
 
“The Conservative offer of £10.50 is a derisory target for 2025 relying on average wages rising as forecast and only applies to over 21 year olds. Usdaw has campaigned for years to abolish rip-off youth rates. If you’re old enough to do the job, you’re old enough to be paid the rate for the job. As a result of our efforts, youth rates no longer exist in companies like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Morrisons.
 
“We expect employers to look beyond statutory basic rates and we negotiate on that basis but, as recognised by the Living Wage Foundation’s ‘Living Hours’ campaign, improving hourly pay alone is not enough. We need to look at security of employment, availability of hours and guaranteed contracts, to ensure workers have a weekly income that they can live on.
 
“Labour understands these issues and will set up a Ministry for Employment Rights to bring about the biggest extension of workers’ rights our country has ever seen, delivering better wages, greater security and give workers more of a say over how their workplaces are run.”
 
Usdaw’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign tackles the causes of in-work poverty and seeks to develop an economy where work pays. The campaign calls for:
  • £10 per hour minimum wage for all workers.
  • 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
  • A ban on 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 over 400,000 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.
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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