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Minimum wage increase not enough in a cost of living crisis, we need a new deal for workers says Usdaw

Date: 31 March 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed that low-paid workers will not receive a minimum wage increase that will provide a wage they can live on. Tomorrow’s increase in the so-called National Living Wage to £10.42 an hour doesn’t meet Usdaw’s call for at least £12 per hour immediately, as a step to £15, or the real living wage rate of £10.90.
Usdaw is also disappointed that youth rates continue and the union renews their call for an end to rip-off pay for young workers. Workers should be paid the same wage for doing the same job, irrespective of age.
The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates from 1 April 2023 are:
  • 23 years and over £10.42
  • 21 to 22 £10.18
  • 18 to 20 £7.49
  • Under 18s and apprentices £5.28 
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says: “We provided the Low Pay Commission with evidence of why we need a new deal for workers, which includes at least £12 per hour immediately, as a step to £15, and an end to unjust rip-off youth rates. This uprating shows that the Government has not gone far enough to help the lowest paid workers through the biggest cost of living crisis in 50 years.
“There needs to be lasting and fundamental changes to the way society views workers. We need a New Deal for Workers: to make work pay, end insecure employment, respect for workers and action to ensure that retail jobs are no longer underpaid and undervalued.
“Going to work should mean a decent standard of living for all workers, not least young workers. They 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. It is deeply disappointing that minimum wage rates continue to discriminate by age.
“Last month’s Budget was a missed opportunity for the Sunak Government to show that they are listening, but they didn’t offer the change our members need. Labour
will deliver a new deal for workers within the first 100 days of coming into Government. So, Usdaw will continue to mobilise for a general election because only Labour has the policies and ideas that can put the country back on track.”
Usdaw’s call for a New Deal for Workers includes:
  • Minimum wage of at least £12 per hour immediately, as a step towards £15 for all workers, ending rip-off youth rates.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, that reflects normal hours worked and a ban on zero-hour contracts.
  • Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at average earnings.
  • Protection at work, with respect for shopworkers. Abuse is not a part of the job.
  • A fundamental overhaul of Universal Credit and our social security system to ensure that it provides a proper safety net.
  • Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and significant improvements to redundancy protections.
  • Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay.
  • A voice at work for all workers, with access to workplaces for trade unions and an end to ‘fire and rehire’. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
Labour’s New Deal for Workers: www.usdaw.org.uk/LaboursNDW
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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