Employers Like Next Need To Act To Avoid A Lost Generation Of 16 To 24-Year-Olds Who Have Borne The Brunt Of The Recession Says GMB
GMB call on NEXT to invest £300m in better pay and longer hours for staff with national roadshow calling at stores in Newcastle on Tyne, Sheffield, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, London, Birmingham, Hull, Belfast and Dublin.
GMB commented on the unemployment figures released today (19th February 2014).
Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Officer for Equality and Inclusion said “Now that the economy has started to grow after six years of recession employers need to act to avoid a lost generation. Of the 2.34 million who were jobless in the final quarter of last year no less than 917,000, or nearly 40%, were unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds. It is these young workers who have had to bear the brunt of the recession.
There is underemployment with 1.4 million people in part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time work.
Clothing retailer NEXT, expecting huge profits up to £700m, is an example of an employer that has to face up to its social responsibilities. NEXT said last month that because they already generate more cash than can be invested productively in the on-going development of the business there is scope for a special pay out of £300m to shareholders.
GMB say this £300m should be invested in them offering more jobs above the 12.5 hour maximum per week in some stores and paying staff a living wage of £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London. NEXT pay £6.31 per hour to those 21 and over, £5.03 to those aged 18 to 20, £3.72 to those under 18 and £2.68 per hour to retail apprentices.
GMB is currently planning a national roadshow to step up the pressure on NEXT to invest this £300m in better pay and longer hours for staff. The roadshow will visit NEXT stores in Newcastle on Tyne, Sheffield, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, London, Birmingham, Hull, Belfast and Dublin. We will publish details soon.”
Contact Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237178 or Mick Rix 07971 268343 or Martin Smith 07974 251 722 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823.