Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/309/12620
Low Pay - No Way!
Did you know that the chief executive of Tesco receives £916,000 a year basic salary? If he works a 40 hour week this means he gets £440.38 an hour! On top of this obscene pay, he received 'additional benefits' during 2002 bringing his total pay package to £2.8million!
Clare James, ISR national co-ordinator
Yet a 16 year-old Tesco worker can get paid as little as £3.77 an hour, less than 1% of what the chief executive earns.
While the bosses and managers say that they can't put up our pay or improve our conditions, they always find the money to pay themselves fat-cat wages! We do the work that produces huge profits for our employers and all we get in return is poverty pay.
It is low pay, job losses and bad working conditions, as well as privatisation and other cuts in public services, that are leading more and more workers across the country to take strike action.
International Socialist Resistance (ISR) members in workplaces are campaigning for more young workers in every job to get organised and fight back too.
As young people we are often forced to work in shops, bars, catering or factory work. Many of these jobs are low-paid, casual, part-time and in unsafe working conditions.
The government, under huge pressure from workers fed up with poverty wages, introduced the minimum wage.
Yet the levels set are still too low - £4.20 an hour if you are over 22 and an even lower rate, £3.60 an hour, for 18-21 year olds. There is no legal minimum for workers under the age of 18.
ISR is campaigning in Britain and internationally against employers that are exploiting young workers in sweatshops, paying poverty wages and providing unsafe working conditions.
- The immediate introduction of the current trade union minimum wage demand (such as the T&G demand for £6 an hour) as a step towards the EU decency threshold of £8.50 an hour (£320 a week).
- An end to exemptions and lower rates of pay for young people.
- The right to a job, training and free quality education.
- No to employment agencies that cream off huge percentages of workers' wages.
- Scrap the New Deal for young people, Job seekers' Allowance and Welfare to Work. For full benefits without compulsion.
- A network of free, good quality childcare.
- A fighting and democratic trade union movement which represents all workers, including agency and casual workers.
If you would like to get involved in our campaign, find out more etc, please get in touch.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST Resistance (ISR) is an international anti-capitalist youth organisation with groups in many different countries.
Initiated by the Socialist Party, ISR is a democratic, broad organisation fighting for a socialist alternative to capitalism.
For more details write to: ISR, PO Box 858, London, E11 1YG. Tel: 020 8558 7947. firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 19 July 2003:
Socialist Party features
International socialist news and analysis