Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/532/4084
TUC attacks Labour on working poverty
A TIMELY report by the TUC, Hard Work, Hidden Lives, shows that New Labour politicians have much to learn about the lives of the working-class people who pushed them into power and could shove them out again.
The report says that over two million people have to endure "intolerably poor working lives" that include daily exploitation and abuse from employers. Employers use legal loopholes to ensure that employment practices that were seen as exploitative in the 19th century, are returning in the 21st. More and more workers are doing unpaid overtime in insecure low-paid jobs.
1.4 million poor children live in working households - the same figure as in 1997. One in seven of all working households are poor. One-fifth of all workers, 5.3 million people, are paid less than £6.67 an hour (two-thirds of the median wage). In some regions, (such as Wales, the West Midlands, the West Country) over 40% are very low-paid.
The TUC has amassed huge amounts of information about the conditions faced by workers and their families. Will it just hide it away for fear of embarrassing New Labour? They should be encouraging unions to use the figures in fighting industrial and political campaigns to improve workers' pay and conditions of work and life.
In The Socialist 7 May 2008:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
May Day Greetings
Socialist Party workplace news