Minimum wage should be increased to £15 says TUC
The TUC (Trades Union Congress) has launched a campaign to see the minimum wage rise to £15 an hour “as soon as possible”, helping those struggling with the growing cost of living crisis.
It said too many workers were living “wage packet to wage packet”, and a £15 minimum should be in place by at least 2030 but could be achieved sooner with a government that was serious about getting wages rising after years of sluggish pay growth.
It comes amid of a summer of industrial action as leading unions have raised frustrations over declines in real pay as inflation soars.
Last week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that workers saw their pay lag behind inflation at a record rate over the three months to June. The current minimum wage for workers aged 23 and over is £9.50, with lower rates for younger employees.
Regular pay increased by 4.7% over the quarter but failed to keep up with rampant inflation, which struck 9.4% in June and accelerated to a 40-year high.
Port workers at Felixstowe have been on picket lines this week demanding higher pay to compensate for inflation rising above 10%, with further increases expected within months driven by rising energy bills. Postal services will also be disrupted by four days of strikes at Royal Mail, starting on Friday.
The TUC has said the Government must deliver a “plan to strengthen and extend collective bargaining across the economy” to help boost pay for workers.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: “Every worker should be able to afford a decent standard of living. But millions of low-paid workers live wage packet to wage packet, struggling to get by – and they are now being pushed to the brink by eye-watering bills and soaring prices.
“We can’t keep lurching from crisis to crisis. Working families need long-term financial security – that means reversing the destructive trend of standstill wages. Ministers should introduce fair pay agreements to get pay and productivity rising in low-paid sectors.”