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Usdaw, the Trade Union for shopworkers, addresses Penzance Citizens Panel on in-work poverty

Date: 01 November 2019 Usdaw Area Organiser David Clift addressed the Penzance Citizens Panel which outlined the work the Union has been doing to address in-work poverty.
"Last year Usdaw surveyed over 10,500 low paid workers to identify their experiences of the issues caused through in-work poverty. The results were startling; over the previous five years, 92% of those surveyed had seen no improvement in their financial situation; 76% had to rely on unsecured borrowing to pay everyday bills; and 63% of people believe that financial worries were having an impact on their mental health.

“Low pay and job insecurity are far too common in and around the Cornwall area. From available figures, we know that around 40% of all employees in Cornwall are earning less than the real living wage. These figures are far higher than the national average and lead to widespread in-work poverty across Cornwall.

Usdaw’s Time For Better Pay campaign has been lobbying Government to take urgent action to address in-work poverty and ensure all working people can afford a decent standard of living.”

Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis said: "More than 50,000 people completed the Time For Better Pay petition backing our call to end job insecurity and help working people make ends meet. That should make the Government sit up and listen, yet we are still waiting for them to fully engage with the evidence we provided. So, the campaign continues. Our aim is to persuade MPs to back a £10 an hour minimum wage and more secure contracts, which would boost minimum wage workers’ full-time pay by a much needed £2,640 a year. We need real and urgent improvements to workers’ rights to deliver an economy that works for all working people."

Usdaw’s Time for Better Pay campaign has four key goals:
  • A £10 per hour minimum wage for all workers,
  • a right to a contract based on normal working hours,
  • a minimum 16 hour per week contract for those who want it,
  • and an end to zero hours 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 410,000 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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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers