Britain’s largest union, Unite renewed calls for an immediate increase to the national minimum wage to tackle in-work poverty, following today’s (Tuesday 24 June) publication of the Living Wage Commission’s findings.
While welcoming the commission’s report, the union warned that more and more families were living on the breadline and couldn’t wait for a voluntary living wage to be introduced.
Calling on the government to snap out of its denial of in-work poverty, the union urged it to boost the national minimum wage by £1.50 an hour.
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary said: “The government cannot dismiss the work of Living Wage Commission or continue in its denial of the growing scandal of in-work poverty.
“The economic growth that George Osborne heralds is passing people’s pay packets by and filling the wallets of the wealthy. In David Cameron’s Britain, the message for ordinary working people struggling to make ends meet is work harder and get poorer.
“The rise of low paid private sector work, which is increasingly the only source of work on offer, ought to be of deep, social concern and will see Britain fall further behind as an economy.
“A decent wage would give people dignity, cut the benefit bill and boost the economy, but for many families waiting until 2020 for a voluntary living wage simply isn’t an option. Cameron and Osborne need to take action now and boost the minimum wage by £1.50 an hour to stem the tide of poverty pay.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
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.