Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has welcomed Professor Sir George Bain’s call to strengthen the national minimum wage and the union is urging the government to significantly boost the national minimum wage by at least £1.50 this year.
His call comes on the fifteenth anniversary of the introduction of the national minimum wage.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Professor Sir George Bain’s call to strengthen the minimum wage adds real weight to growing demands to significantly boost the earnings of the lowest paid.
“Britain's millions of low waged workers desperately need a pay rise. Painful hikes in the cost of living in this country are vastly outstripping any meagre movement in wages. Since the economic crisis started the minimum cost of living has increased by a staggering 25 per cent. It now takes a minimum waged worker 140 days to make the money to pay their fuel bill. This is not living, it is existing.
"The UK is the seventh richest country on the planet. There can be no excuses for the growing reliance of people in work on food banks – wages should be enough to live on.
"So let's have some real help for struggling households, beginning with a £1.50 rise in the national minimum wage.”
Professor Sir George Bain was the founding chair of the Low Pay Commission which recommends the rate of the minimum wage.
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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.