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Grazia, Unite and West End stars combine forces on equal pay

Grazia, Unite and West End stars combine forces on equal pay

15 December 2014

Unite media invitation 

WHEN: Tuesday 16 December, 12:00-14:00
WHERE: Churchill Room, Houses of Parliament

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: 11:00 Old Palace Yard

Nearly fifty years on from the landmark equal pay ruling at Ford’s Dagenham, the wage gap is widening once again in austerity Britain with women workers today still earning just 81p for every one pound earned by a man.

In the past three years, the pay gap has doubled and with little hope of serious efforts to address the problems from the present government because of its voluntary approach to pay transparency.  This has seen just five companies come clean on their gender wage gap since 2010.

On December 16, the country’s biggest union, Unite, will join forces with Grazia magazine and stars from the West End to show support for urgent action on equal pay. They will be backing a 10 Minute Rule Bill being brought by Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham which will place a duty on ministers to implement Section 78 of the Equality Act, which requires employers with over 250 workers to publish wage data, making transparent any existing gender pay gap within their organisation and the reasons behind it. 

Speaking ahead of the debate in the House of Commons, Siobhan Endean, national officer for equalities at Unite, said: “It’s 46 years since this union’s members at Ford began their fight to close the gender wage gap. It is a disgrace that all these years later, women are still fighting for a fair deal. Our wages are vitally important to the household income but underpaying and undervaluing the work we do still goes on.  Worse, this government appears to be doing next to nothing to address this.

“More and more women workers are now union members because they know that, with a union on our side, we do better but an end to pay secrecy in larger companies will make all the difference in the battle against discrimination.”

Some of the original ‘Made in Dagenham’ women will be present at the reception and rally, joined by Gemma Arterton, Isla Blair and Sophie-Louise Dann from the Made in Dagenham musical.

Media wishing to attend should contact amy.jackson@unitetheunion.org 

ENDS

For further information please contact Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.

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

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