Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed that low-paid workers will not receive a minimum wage increase that will provide a wage they can live on. Today’s increase in the so-called National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour doesn’t meet Usdaw’s call for £10 per hour immediately or the real living wage rate of £9.90.

Usdaw is also disappointed that youth rates continue and the union renews their call for an end to rip-off pay for young workers. National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates from 1 April 2022:

  1. 23 and over £9.50
  2. 21 to 22 £9.18
  3. 18 to 20 £6.83
  4. Under 18s and apprentices £4.81

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We provided the Low Pay Commission with evidence of why we need a new deal for workers, which includes at least £10 per hour and an end to unjust rip-off youth rates. Today’s uprating shows that the Government has missed the opportunity to help the lowest paid workers through the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.

“Usdaw members welcomed the key worker status throughout the pandemic, but that respect and appreciation must not now fade into the background. Yet, as we emerge from the pandemic those workers, who were already struggling to make ends meet, are now trying to survive the highest inflation rates in over 30 years.

“There needs to be lasting and fundamental changes to the way society views workers. We need a New Deal for Workers: a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour now, an end to insecure employment, respect for shopworkers and action to ensure that retail jobs are no longer underpaid and undervalued.

“Going to work should mean a decent standard of living for all workers, not least young workers. They are more likely to be paid less than older colleagues, even when doing the same job. They also often work hours that are not guaranteed in their contract, so they really need fairer and better pay. It is deeply disappointing that  minimum wage rates continue to discriminate by age.

“I’m afraid today’s uprating shows that the Government is not doing what workers need in the face of the cost of living crisis. They have simply failed to understand the scale of the challenge faced by millions of workers across the country.”

Usdaw’s New Deal for Workers calls for:

  1. A minimum wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers immediately, ending rip-off youth rates and providing a living wage.
  2. Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, that reflects normal hours worked and a ban on zero-hour contracts.
  3. Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at average earnings.
  4. Protection at work – respect for shopworkers, abuse is not a part of the job.
  5. A proper social security system, Universal Credit does not provide a safety net.
  6. Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and redundancy.
  7. Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay.
  8. A voice at work, stop rogue employers refusing to engage with trade unions and end ‘fire and rehire’.
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