The Socialist

The Socialist 11 April 2018

Youth demand a future

The Socialist issue 990

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice

 
 
 
 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/990/27185

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 11 April 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Low-paid women support staff at Barts NHS Trust striking for better pay last year, photo Sarah Wrack

Low-paid women support staff at Barts NHS Trust striking for better pay last year, photo Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, Socialist Party national committee

Figures released by 10,000 large companies reveal what most of us already knew: there is a huge gender pay gap in Britain. The median across the firms is 9.8% - but some had gaps of over 70%.

Since the Equal Pay Act 1970, it has been illegal to pay men and women different amounts for the same job. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. High-profile examples include presenters at the BBC, but it is likely to happen in many workplaces across the country.

But the main explanation for the gap in pay is that women are still overwhelmingly concentrated in lower-paid jobs or working part-time. Employers are still punishing women for taking - or even just having the potential to take - 'career breaks' to have children and care for families.

The average company is 52% men, but 30% of male employees are in the highest-paid quartile, compared to just 20% of women. Even companies that have a majority-women workforce are more likely to have more higher-paid men.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest gaps are in male-dominated workforces like construction and finance. Ryanair has the worst pay gap in the airline industry at 71.8%. Pilots are mainly men and most women employees are low-paid cabin crew.

The smallest pay gaps are where women workers are concentrated, such as the public sector, health and social care. No sector overall pays women more than men.

'Women's work'

But the main issue is that vital jobs traditionally seen as 'women's work' are more likely to be low-paid and on poor terms and conditions. Most workers in the public sector have not had a pay rise in the last decade. The care industry, dominated by private companies, pays minimum wage or less.

Workers organising and taking strike action for higher pay and decent conditions - like the Ford Dagenham women sewing machinists did 50 years ago this June - is vital if we are to seriously address the pay gap.

So the trade unions should use these figures as a launch pad to fight for genuine pay equality, reversing privatisation and cuts to fund decent wages and conditions. We can take confidence from the incredible mass feminist strike in the Spanish state on 8 March.

Under capitalism, bosses will use every means at their disposal to boost profits by paying workers as little as they can get away with, including discriminating against a section of us because of our gender.

So it's no surprise the gender pay gap is also biggest in companies with the biggest disparity between executives and workers. While socialists would oppose any woman being paid less because of her gender, the majority of women's lives will not be improved by a tiny minority of executive women being paid bigger bonuses in the banks, for example.

We stand for pay equality - but we want more than just equality with low-paid, downtrodden men. The Socialist Party fights for decent pay and jobs for all, taking big business out of the hands of the super-rich exploiters.

United workers' action can tackle the growing inequality between the owners and top executives who are getting richer, and the rest of us struggling because of wage restraint for their profits.


In this issue


What we think

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Socialist Party news and analysis

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


Customs union

A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


Local elections 2018

May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


International socialist news and analysis

Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 April 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Equal pay:

triangleCapitalism oppresses women - fight for socialism!

triangleWomen rally defiantly

triangleArriva bus strike still solid

triangleUS: women ice hockey players' strike threat wins living wage

triangleWomen need secure jobs and equal pay, not patronising 'returnships'

Union:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleCardiff Uber Eats couriers strike back against bosses

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

triangleNSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

Trade union:

trianglePOA walkout over government failure to make prisons safe

trianglePCS: the real issues at stake - a reply to Socialist View

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Fighting for trade union democracy

Pay:

triangleUniversity pay ballot: vote yes for strike action!

triangleLiverpool airport workers demand decent pay

Women:

triangleSouth Africa: new workers' formations herald fightback against Ramaphosa's capitalist agenda

Workers:

triangleFight against billionaire Newcastle boss Mike Ashley continues

Low-paid:

triangleTGIFriday workers at Stratford, London. TGI staff at a number of restaurants have been on strike against cuts in their tips.

Jobs:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism

Public sector:

triangleNHS: Mass fightback is needed

Trade unions:

trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

Inequality:

triangleFearful bosses call for 'fairer capitalism'...

Wages:

triangleLondon cleaners' strike: 'Pay us a living wage!'

BBC:

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

Feminist:

triangleYouthful enthusiasm to break with repression of past

Dagenham:

triangle'Made in Dagenham' Ford machinists pay strike 50 years on