Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/343/5725
Low Pay, No Way!
WHILE FAT-CAT bosses get richer, many young workers are exploited in low paid jobs, often with very little security. In 2003 executive directors of the UK's top 100 companies received an average pay increase of 23% while average earnings rose by a measly 3.2%.
Clare James, ISR national co-ordinator
This is why International Socialist Resistance (ISR) has launched our 'Low pay - no way!' campaign. We plan to have a day of action in the run up to the 10 June elections to help build the campaign.
Almost half of all 16 and 17 year olds are in work today. Three-quarters are juggling jobs with full-time education. The current minimum wage does not cover under 18 year olds or young people on modern apprenticeships and other similar government schemes..
This means many young people are forced to work for poverty wages. Living costs such as food, bills, clothes and travel are no cheaper just because you are young. So why should being young mean being extra exploited at work!
Forced to work for poverty wages
Because of the anger which exists on this issue, the government has been forced to consider introducing a minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds later on this year. This is due to be set at a pitiful £3 an hour! Although this is a small step forward, £3 an hour is poverty pay.
There are also many school students under the age of 16 working, the GMB trade union estimates there are up to 1.5 million. Also, workers on modern apprenticeships and other government training schemes will continue to be exempt from the minimum wage.
This is a disgrace! As part of building support for the campaign we are aiming to get at least 5,000 signatures in support of our demands to hand into the government. We will also be handing copies of the petitions into the headquarters of the TUC (Trades Union Congress), to put pressure on them to step up the campaign for the introduction of a living wage for all.
In The Socialist 17 April 2004:
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