Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/447/5323
Young people need a living wage!
AFTER LEAVING school at 16 I wanted to carry on my education. But I realised that my family cannot afford to pay me what I needed for living and studying, so I went for a job. I found myself working in a big pizza shop as a dish-washer.
Rozh Pavilov, Hull Socialist Party
I was getting £3 an hour because I was under 18. I did the same as a 19 year old dish-washer could do but I didn't get the same wages.
After five days working I cut my palm with a knife. I stopped working for a bit because my hand was bleeding. There wasn't any proper first aid and they just wanted me to carry on working. But it wasn't just me who got treated badly because the bosses had a bad day and it wasn't just me who had bad working conditions.
All workers there had similar conditions, but at that time none of us knew about trade unions and how we could stand up for our rights at work. Now in this summer holiday, many young people are full-time workers on these types of jobs and having bad working conditions and low pay.
The best question to ask ourselves is "what we can do about it"? We need to join a union and organise among other workers to stand up for our rights. Look at wages for workers of 18 and above, it is only £4.25. A minimum wage for adult workers is only £5.05. None of these are living wages.
It's poverty pay that workers are forced to live on under New Labour. It's capitalism which makes this big gap of inequality and puts profit before people's interests. Profit for the few and poverty for the majority is the major force for this economic system of capitalism.
When we finished work, the bosses put £1,000 to £1,300 in their pockets every night but paid us poverty wages. That's why International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Party are fighting for the unions to take immediate action to implement their current minimum wage demands, as a step towards a legal minimum of £8 an hour.
ISR are calling a weekend of action on 15-16 July to fight for equal pay for equal work and also for a wage that allows workers the decent standard of living that we deserve for our hard work.
In The Socialist 6 July 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news