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Challenge To Get Living Wage Of £10 Per Hour

Monday, November 3, 2014

Challenge Is To Get Employers To Pay Increase Of 35p In London And 20p Per Hour In Rest Of UK Towards Living Wage Which Should Be £10 Per Hour Says GMB

Later this month with Paul Heaton and Jackie Abbott we will undertake the second leg of the national tour which will focus on NEXT which pays £6.70 per hour which their staff cannot live on says GMB

GMB commented on the 35p per hour increase in a London living wage from £8.80 to £9.15 and the 20p increase per hour in a living wage from £7.65 to £7.85 announced on 3rd November. See notes to editors for copies of relevant press releases.

Martin Smith, GMB National Organizer, said "GMB members would welcome a rise of an additional 35p per hour in London and 20p per hour elsewhere across the UK. However the challenge is to get employers especially those working as contractors for the public sector to pay it.

A rate of £7.85 per hour and £9.15 is a stepping stone towards a wage you can live on. Later this month GMB with Paul Heaton and Jackie Abbott will undertake the second leg of  a 15 date national tour which will focus on NEXT which pays £6.70 per hour which their staff cannot live on. See notes to editors for dates below about with GMB will issue further releases.

GMB members tell us that in their experience you need at least £10 an hour and a full working week to have a decent life free from benefits and tax credits. Less than £10 an hour means just existing not living. It means a life of isolation, unable to socialise. It means a life of constant anxiety over paying bills and of borrowing from friends, family and pay day loan sharks just to make ends meet."


Contact Martin Smith 07974 251 823 or Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237178 or Mick Rix 07971 268343 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors:

1 The dates for the second leg of  Paul Heaton and Jackie Abbott tour are as follows:

21st November Aberdeen
22nd November Newcastle
23rd November Bradford
24th November Blackburn
26th November Nottingham – NEXT demo
27th November Cardiff – NEXT demo
28th November Wolverhampton – NEXT demo
30th November Glasgow
1st December Warrington
2nd December Leicester
4th December Sheffield
5th December Manchester
6th December Bridlington
9th December Bexhill – NEXT demo
10th December London

See notes to editors 4 below for GMB press release on first leg of the tour.

2 Mayor confirms increase to London Living Wage as hundreds more businesses sign up

· London Living Wage to increase to £9.15 per hour
· Number of accredited companies paying London Living Wage has doubled over the past 12 months to exceed 400.

At the start of National Living Wage Week the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has announced that the number of employers paying the London Living Wage in the capital has doubled in the last 12 months. He also confirmed a four per cent increase in the London Living Wage, taking the hourly rate from £8.80 to £9.15 per hour.

Major brands such as ITV, Nationwide and Google have all become accredited as London Living Wage employers over the last year and over 400 companies are now signed up. Many smaller businesses have also committed to the Living Wage including CTS cleaning solutions (the first accredited cleaning company), Stepney City Farm and the East London Liquor Company.

However, more than one in five employed Londoners earned less than the new rate in 2013 and today (3 November) the Mayor announced a renewed focus on encouraging businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors to sign up to the scheme, when he visited Kaffeine, the first coffee shop in the capital to become accredited.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It is extremely encouraging to see companies both large and small recognising the benefits of fair remuneration. The London Living Wage rewards hard working Londoners for their valuable contribution to the productivity and growth of this city’s economy. It is a win-win scenario for the workforce and employers alike. Importantly, this isn’t just about economic dividends, but the immeasurable improvement to quality of life and workplace morale. In excess of 400 businesses have made the commitment, but we need even more converts, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors. I hope that even more organisations this year will decide to do the right thing.”

Paying the London Living Wage delivers benefits for individuals and companies. Research published by academics at Queen Mary University on the costs and benefits of paying the London Living Wage found that over half the number of people earning the Living Wage who were interviewed for a study felt more positive about their workplace after it was introduced. A similar proportion felt more loyal towards their employer. The research also estimated that moving London’s low paid workers onto the LLW would save the Treasury an estimated £823 million a year in increased taxes and reduced benefit payments.

A previous study commissioned by the GLA and conducted by London Economics found that the “most significant impact noted was recruitment and retention, improved worker morale, motivation, productivity and [the] reputational impacts of being an ethical employer”. The study also found that more than 80 per cent of employers believed that the living wage had increased the quality of the work.

The owner of Kaffeine, Peter Dore-Smith, said: “Fair pay for fair work benefits everyone. It is because of my staff that this business is a success and it is because of my staff that it will continue to be. It is only fair and decent that they be paid a fair and decent wage. I know what it is like to work in a great place that rewards your efforts, it makes you work harder and have more passion for your work. I am incredibly proud that Kaffeine is the first coffee shop in London to pay the Living Wage and I would urge other business owners to sign up.”

Rhys Moore, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “London is leading the way in championing the Living Wage, and the leadership shown by the Mayor of London has been key to this success. As the recovery continues it’s vital that the proceeds of growth are properly shared. The London Living Wage reflects the unique challenges of working and living in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

“Those businesses that can should follow the example of Nestle and Nationwide, as well as hundreds of smaller, independent businesses like Kaffeine, London’s first accredited coffee shop, and CTS Cleaning, the capital’s first Living Wage cleaning company. These businesses recognise that clinging to the minimum wage isn’t good for business or the communities in which they work.

“Low pay costs the taxpayer money – firms that pay the minimum wage are seeing their workers’ pay topped up through the benefits system. So it’s right that we recognise and celebrate those employers who are voluntarily signing up to the higher Living Wage, and saving the taxpayer money in the process.

“The London Living Wage reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”


· The London Living Wage has risen by four per cent from £8.80 to £9.15.

· Accredited Living Wage Employers alone have now provided over 20,000 workers in London with the benefits of the living wage since 2011.

· The Living Wage Foundation supports both the London and National Living Wage campaigns by providing ‘accreditation’ to those Living Wage employers who want it.

· The accreditation process is administered by the Foundation, which is part of Citizens UK. ‘Accreditation’ entitles an employer to use the Living Wage mark. In addition accredited employers undertake to meet announced rises in the Living Wage within six months.

· There are over 400 London employers accredited. This compares with just 27 employers who offered the Living Wage in 2008.

· Over the past year there have been new living wage employers from every sector including private sector companies in finance and retail, third sector charities, schools, colleges and the public sector.

· Key sign-ups in the private sector in the past year include well-known brands such as Nationwide, Foster & Partners, ITV and HSBC. Recent sign-ups in the public sector include MOPAC, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

· Queen Mary University of London ‘The costs and benefits of the London living wage’ can be found here

· GLA Economics ‘An independent study of the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London’ can be found here


Today, Monday 3rd November, the UK Living Wage rate has been set at £7.85 per hour, an increase of 2.6% on the 2013 rate and 21% higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50 per hour; improving the take home pay of 35,000 low-paid workers across the country who are employed by over 1,000 Living Wage accredited organisations.

Rhys Moore, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: "As the recovery continues it's vital that the proceeds of growth are properly shared. It's not enough to simply hope for the best. It will take concerted action by employers, government and civil society to raise the wages of the 5 million workers who earn less than the Living Wage.

"The good news is that the number of accredited Living Wage employers has more than doubled this year - over 1,000 employers across the UK have signed up. In the last 12 months the number of Living Wage employers in the FSTE 100 has risen from four to 18 including Canary Wharf Group and Standard Life.

"Those businesses that can should follow the example of Nestle and Nationwide, as well as hundreds of smaller, independent businesses like CTS Cleaning and independent building contractor Hodgson Sayers, who pay the Living Wage.

"Low pay costs the taxpayer money - firms that pay the minimum wage are seeing their workers' pay topped up through the benefits system. So it's right that we recognise and celebrate those employers who are voluntarily signing up to the higher Living Wage, and saving the taxpayer money in the process.

"The Living Wage is an independent calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day's work with a fair day's pay."

The rate announcement coincides with research released today by KPMG, one of the Living Wage Foundation's principal partners, which found that 5.28million UK workers are being paid less than the Living Wage, with huge swathes of employees working in the retail, catering and care sectors, clustered around minimum wage pay levels.

Mike Kelly, Head of Living Wage, KPMG said: "Far too many UK employees are stuck in the spiral of low pay. The research identifies statistics and trends, but it also reports the concerns of people earning below the Living Wage who expect their finances to worsen during the next 12 months and shows that debt levels have continued to rise among this group.
"Unless wages rise, a significant sector of the UK population will see themselves caught between the desire to contribute to society and the inability to afford to do so.
"Business benefits of the Living Wage include higher retention and productivity, and over 1,000 responsible businesses recognise this. The Living Wage may not be possible for every business, but is certainly not impossible to explore the feasibility of paying it."

During 2014 household names such as Nationwide and Nestle have made the move to become Living Wage employers, ensuring all their directly employed staff, as well as third party contractors such as security and cleaning teams, are also paid at least the Living Wage.

In support of Living Wage Week, Nationwide will be displaying the Living Wage logo at over 250 branches and on the homepage of their online banking service.

Stephen Uden, Head of Corporate Citizenship, Nationwide said: "We are pleased to pay all our staff from branch cleaners, to cashiers and senior managers, fair and decent levels of pay. Accrediting as a Living Wage employer made good business sense. Our customers told us that they value our commitment to fair reward for all.

"To celebrate Living Wage Week we are proudly displaying the Living Wage logo to demonstrate we are part of a movement of responsible businesses. Increased staff motivation and retention rates, reduced absenteeism and recruitment costs are common benefits reported following implementation of the Living Wage.

"We hope that consumers will start to see more of the Living Wage logo over the next year, as further businesses accredit. People will be able to show their support with their feet and their wallets."

Later this morning, in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, Mayor Boris Johnson will announce the London Living Wage rate, which is currently £8.80 per hour. The announcement will take place at London's first accredited coffee shop, Kaffeine, and will be followed by a business event with Google UK, who are also accrediting as a Living Wage employer today.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "People deserve a fair day's pay for an honest day's work. But low pay is blighting the lives of millions of families. And it's adding to the deficit because it means more spent on tax credits and less collected in tax.
"We have the wrong kind of recovery with the wrong kind of jobs - we need to create far more living wage jobs, with decent hours and permanent contracts."

The Living Wage is calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University, whilst in the capital the rate is set by the Greater London Authority and is based on a combination of a basic living costs approach and income distribution, with respect to a variety of household types which takes account the unique circumstances of living in London.

The Living Wage Foundation is an initiative of Citizens UK, national community organising charity, which brings together people from every part of society and enables them to work together for the common good.

Notes to Editors:

-              The London Living Wage rate is calculated by the GLA's Living Wage Unit, with cross-party support.  It is updated on a yearly basis, calculating a 'poverty threshold wage' and adding a 15 percent margin to ensure that the recipients do not fall to the level of poverty wages

-              The UK Living Wage rate (ie outside London) is calculated annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

-              Accredited Living Wage employers - there are now over to 1,000 accredited Living Wage Employers.


4 GMB June press release on last date in first leg of National Tour:


Roadshow shows that public support NEXT paying wages and enough hours of work for people to live on and as a starting point paying £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London says GMB

GMB, the union for retail workers, held a public protest today (Monday 2nd June) outside NEXT Liverpool store for a living wage which coincided with a national tour by Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott in the city on 1st June.

Liverpool is the final leg in a GMB national road show that took in nine cities in Great Britain including Newcastle on Tyne, Glasgow, Salford, Leeds, Bristol, Sheffield, Birmingham, Hull and Liverpool as the Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott tour travelled across the country.

GMB is campaigning for NEXT to pay wages and enough hours of work for people to live on. GMB is seeking as a starting point £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London. NEXT employ 50,000 workers at over 500 stores, call centres and warehouses in the UK and Ireland

GMB has supported the national tour by Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott tour during May and June. Paul headed up the Housemartins and together they headed up the Beautiful South in the 1980's and 1990's.

In March NEXT reported a 12% increase in annual profits to £695m. NEXT says it expects profits in 2014 to rise by up to £770m. NEXT said January that it is generating more cash than can be invested in the business so it will pay a special £300m pay out to shareholders.

NEXT currently pay £6.33 per hour to those 21 and over and £5.47 to those aged 18 to 20. GMB is aware of that many jobs are for12.5 hours per week or less in some stores. Some store staff may get a bonus which the company claim can amount to an additional 4% to 7% on hourly rates. Staff hourly rates will also increase by 37p from 1st June. This will leave the majority of staff well below a living wage of £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London.

GMB presented ASBOs to store managers for failing to make work pay for Next workers.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for retail staff, said “GMB call that NEXT pay wages and enough hours of work for people to live on got massive support all around the country. The public support that as a starting point they pay £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London.

The public were unaware of the special £300m pay out to shareholders and supported it being spend instead to offer jobs with longer hours per week and to pay staff a living wage.

It is time NEXT made work pay. If this was done, staff would not need their meagre wages to be topped up by taxpayers with family tax credits and housing benefits so as to make ends meet.

That NEXT is over-subscribed when it offers a job is a reflection on the level of youth unemployment not that NEXT jobs are so good.

GMB is grateful to Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott for their support on the stage and on the streets to get this message across.”


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