Wednesday, 9 July 2014

For living wages, not poverty pay! Support the July 10th Strike.

On July the 10th over a million workers will walk-out in a nationwide strike. Members of numerous trade unions have voted in favour of the action, which includes fire-fighters, teachers, council staff and school support workers.  The local Green Party has voiced its support for those on strike. 

Laurence Goodchild, Rugby Greens Trade Union Officer, comments “the Rugby Green Party understands and shares the concerns of those who are taking action on the 10th of July. This strike action is not the result of an irrational or hostile trade union leadership. It is an action of last resort, democratically pushed for by thousands of ordinary working-people; taken due to numerous long-standing grievances.  Many of those walking out on the 10th will be amongst the lowest-paid workers in the country, for whom losing a days pay whilst struggling with rising household bills will not be taken lightly. ”

The common grievances raised by the unions involved include continued real-term pay cuts, attacks on pensions, the slashing of public services, and a lack of commitment to proper negotiations from government employers.


Terry White of Rugby Young Greens added  “As one of the richest nations on earth, we believe that it is totally reasonable for workers to be paid a living wage. Instead, what we have seen is tax cuts for the highest earners, huge profits for energy companies whilst bills rise, continued growth in inequality, and no effective clampdown on tax evasion. Young people continue to suffer disproportionately. We sincerely hope that this co-ordinated action succeeds in defending jobs, pay and working conditions.”

Notes:

Specific unions which have voted in favour of strike action include Unite, Unison, GMB, FBU, PCS and NUT. So far most estimates put the number of strikers at just over a million (including the BBC): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28129412

The 1% pay rise offered to some workers amounts to a real-terms pay cut due to inflation (CPI) sitting at 1.6% now – expected to rise nearer to 2% over coming months: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/inflationreport/infrep.aspx

For a summary of grievances, and an explanation for why they have decided to strike please see the joint Unite, Unison and GMB leaflet “Why we're taking action”: https://www.unison.org.uk/upload/sharepoint/On%20line%20Catalogue/22544.pdf

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