#18OCT march and rally
A huge thank you to the hundreds of Prospect members who marched and rallied for a pay rise in London, Glasgow and Belfast on Saturday 18 October. The campaign aims to send a message to employers and politicians that workers need a pay rise.
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- London: 11am on the Embankment near Blackfriars station. Prospect and FDA members will meet in Zone 8, close to Somerset House. It will move off at noon, and march via Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly to Hyde Park for a rally.
- Scotland: 10am on Glasgow Green; march from Glasgow Green 10.30am for a rally in George Square
- Northern Ireland: 12 noon in Writers Square, Belfast.
Why are we marching?
One key driver of the economic crash was growing pay inequality. Long before the banks went bust people’s wages had stopped growing, and getting money back into people’s pockets is essential to securing a strong recovery, says the TUC.
Reasons why working people need a pay rise:
- Poverty pay: One in five people earn less than the living wage. For the first time, more people in work are below the poverty line than those out of work.
- The cost of living crisis: Ordinary people are £40 a week worse off in real terms than they were five years ago.
- Rising inequality: In 1998, top chief executives earned 45 times the average wage. Now they earn 185 times as much. That means they have earned what most people earn over 12 months in just a day and a half.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We also need to avoid another debt fuelled spending boom of the sort that caused the recent financial crisis – sustainable economic growth depends on fairer pay for ordinary workers and smaller bonuses for the super rich.”
The TUC has drawn up an action list for moving the economy back in the right direction:
- A properly enforced minimum wage: The national minimum wage is meant to safeguard against extreme low pay but it’s no use if not properly enforced. We need the government to publicly name and shame those companies who aren’t paying up. HMRC also need more resources to help identify minimum wage cheats.
- Higher wages from employers who can afford to pay: In many low paid-sectors employers could afford to pay more without making job losses. Unions and employers need to find ways to work together to set higher wages, so that workers and businesses both get a fair deal.
- Increased commitment to the living wage: Companies that can well afford to pay the living wage are not doing so and contractors winning lucrative public sector contracts are continuing to pay poverty wages. We need more local authorities to make sure that their own staff, and those in their supply chains, get at least the living wage.
- A crackdown on excessive executive pay: Pay at the top continues to rocket, fuelling inequality and excessive financial risk taking. We need real action to get top pay under control, starting with worker representation on pay committees and far more transparency.
Prospect’s parliamentary officer Parmjit Dhanda said: “In my experience, these events are good family occasions and very uplifting for the trade union movement. So I hope you will put the date in your diary.
"I would be grateful if you would email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’ll be attending – this will help us to build an idea of the numbers we can expect. You can also check out the False Economy website for details of coaches travelling to London.”
© Prospect 2014