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Caution urged on jobless figures - Britain’s workers t...

Caution urged on jobless figures - Britain’s workers too poor to combat cost of living crisis, says Unite

22 January 2014

Britain’s workers need a big pay rise to complement the drop in this month’s unemployment figures, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 22 January).

While welcoming the 167,000 drop in the jobless figures, Unite said that the increase in wages, presently languishing at 0.9 per cent, were lagging far behind the current rate of inflation.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While the fall in the number of jobless is to be welcomed, there is need for some caution. 

“Millions of people are struggling to pay household bills because wages are so low. Any suggestion that interest rates should rise must be resisted, while so many people sit on the verge of financial meltdown.

“Britain’s workers need a decent pay rise so that wages are not continually eroded by inflation.

“Unite has repeatedly called for the national minimum wage to be raised by £1.50 an hour from the current £6.31 – and we urge the Low Pay Commission to make that recommendation.

“To put in it perspective, the UK has one of the highest rates of personal debt in Europe, millions are working for poverty wages and thousands of people rely on food banks to put a meal on the table for their family, yet the stock market is performing well.

“Companies can well afford to be more generous when it comes to paying more to their workers.”

The number of people out of work fell by 167,000 to 2.32 million in the three months to November.

ENDS

For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.