GMB Support TUC Organised Decent Jobs Week From 15th To 21st December
Pay for full time workers in the lowest graded jobs including security guards, shelf fillers, hospital porters, kitchen and catering assistant jobs, waiters and waitresses and bar staff is still 12.6% below its value in 2007 says GMB.
GMB is supporting Decent Jobs Week running from 15th to 21st December which is organized by the TUC with a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about workers in precarious and low paid jobs struggling to make ends meet.
Events are planned to draw attention to the millions of workers in the UK trapped in low paid and insecure jobs. There are more than 1.4 million zero-hours contracts in use, offering no steady work. Others, such as agency and casual workers, lose out on important rights and benefits.
Events are planned as follows:
Midlands Region – contact: Rob Johnston 0212 236 4454 or 07912 8519929
Lunchtime street stalls:
13 December Northampton: 11.00 in Market Square at bottom of Abington Street NN1 2DF
13 December Hucknall: 10.00 to Noon Huckball High Street at the precinct near T8’s wine Bar NG15 7HF
15 December Birmingham: 12.00 – 14.00 High Street near Marks & Spencer and Union Street junction B4 7SS
16 December Nottingham: 12.00 – 14.00 at Brian Clough statue, just off Old Market Square, King Street, Nottingham NH1 2 AY
17 December Leicester: Noon – 14.00 ‘Carpet of Light’ outside Visit Leicester tourist info Centre Leicester City Centre LE1 5AD
18 December Stoke: Noon – 14.00 Tontine Square, Hanley Stoke-on-Trent ST1 1NP
19 December Derby: Noon – 14.00 at ‘The Ram’ statue Derby City Centre DE1 2PR
20 December TBC The Guildhall Worcester
20 December TBC Shrewsbury
Northern Region – Contact: Beth Farhat and Neil Foster on 0191 232 3175
13 December A stand in the Metro Centre in Gateshead which will be open for 12 hours and a stand with a picture of Rudolph signing up to a decent work job contract with Santa and a number of light hearted photo opportunities.
18 December A stand in the Metro Centre in Gateshead will again be open for 12 hours
North West Region – See contacts against each event
13 December Chester: 12.00 – 14.30 Giant Christmas Card signing Northgate Street near to The Cross CH1 2LA. Contact: Celia Jones, Cheshire Trades Union Council on 07881 610361.
13 December Preston: 13.00 – 15.00 Giant Christmas Card signing the flag Market, Market Square Cheapside Preston PR1 2PP. Contact Peter Billington Lancashire Association of Trades Union councils on 07709 622405.
13 December Manchester: details TBC, Giant Christmas Card signing Manchester City Centre Contact: Jay McKenna on 0151 482 2710.
13 December Blackpool: – Timing TBC Giant Christmas Card signing Victoria Street. Contact: Ken Cridland at email@example.com
Eastern of England Region – Contact Laurie Heselden on 020 7467 1292
15 December Suffolk: 12.30 – 14.20 Stall outside 5 Tavern Street Ipswich Suffolk IP1 3AA
South East Region – Contact Laurie Heselden on 020 7467 1292
16 December Gillingham:12.00 to 17.00 Stall opposite 124a High Street, Gillingham ME7 1AS
17th December Chatham: 12.00 to 17.00 Stall opposite 211 High Street, Chatham ME4 4BG.
19 December Hastings: 12.00 – 14.00 Stall in pedestrian area at the junction of Wellington Place and Queens Road, Hastings, East Sussex.
London Region – Contact Laurie Heselden on 020 7467 1292
18 December Southwark: 12.00 to 14.00 stall at 183 Walworth Road, SE17 1RW
18 December 12.00 to 14.00 Stall at East Street, Southwark, SE17 1EL.
Wales – Contact: Alex Bevan on 029 2034 7010
15 December Colwyn Bay 16.00 – 18.00 Decent Jobs Stall.
17 December Swansea 10.00 – 17.00 Stall in Oxford Street outside Poundland store Swansea.
18 December Cardiff 16.00 – 18.00 Stall Queen Street, Castle End, Cardiff.
Yorkshire & Humberside Region Contact: Bill Adams on 0113 242 96796
16 December Leeds 12.00 – 14.00 Leeds City Centre, Briggate.
20 December York 11.00 – 14.00 York City Centre, St Helen’s Square.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said "In the run up to Christmas we need to focus on the working poor struggling to make ends meet on wages that have not kept pace with prices that are up by a quarter since 2007.
The welcome increase in the levels of economic activity is partly linked to population growth as GDP per head is still 3% below 2007 levels so many workers have seen no sign of the upturn.
The real value of take home pay for workers is 10.4% below pre–recession levels while many of the new jobs are precarious and badly paid.
It is the lowest paid who have been worst affected by the recession. The real value of earnings for full time workers in the lowest graded jobs in UK is still 12.6% below its value in 2007. This group of workers include security guards, shelf fillers, hospital porters, kitchen and catering assistant jobs, waiters and waitresses and bar staff.
At the forthcoming General Election the Labour Party will offer hope of a better future in contrast to the Tories who are offering another five years of despair with pay freezes and austerity.”
This is what five GMB members on low pay recently told the union:
“Watching your money is always a stress, questioning yourself, do we need this? can we go without that? It's a drain. Telling your children we can't afford things when their friends have them is heart breaking when they are crying and feel left out.”
"I have a wife and two young daughters aged 3 & 8. Currently I go to work at 7 am and don't get home until 7pm or even later. For the majority of the days in a week I do not get to see my children at all but I have to work these crazy hours to pay the bills and keep my kids fed and in clothes.
“My quality of life is zero because I simply have to work all the time and have little to no family life at all. My company does not pay overtime either, so it is really tough just to earn enough to scrape through the weeks and months."
“If I could do less hours but have a higher rate of pay, then I would be happier. In my current position the workload for me has increased since 2008 but wages have not kept up. I used to work regular overtime until it was stopped. Now when I have done my work for the week, I am shattered, as I have to cram in more responsibilities into my hours for no more money. If I could revert back to doing less in my working day, then I would consider more hours. I'm not workshy, but my health has to be a major consideration.”
“Difficult! If something went wrong with my car I couldn't commute to work nor could I buy a new one. The bus service costs too much to use daily and in my area is so unreliable I couldn't in good faith tell my employer I would never be late. With the wages being so low at times I feel depressed as I’m working to just stay alive. What sort of life is it that you work until you die and have no enjoyment or anything to show for your time on the earth!”
Contact: Cath Speight GMB National Political Officer 07506 711925 or Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Equality and Diversity Officer on 07956 237178 or Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services on 07860 606137 or Gary Doolan, GMB National Political Officer on 07852 182358 or Martin Smith, GMB National Organiser on 07974 251722 or GMB Press Office 07921 28988.