‘Living wage’ lie: fight for £10 now!

Ryan Aldred, zero-hour contract worker

On April Fools’ Day the Tories will implement the sick joke of a National ‘Living’ Wage of £7.20 an hour – but only for over-25s. Do under-25s not deserve to live?

Earlier this month, the Tories stole £30 a week from the pockets of disabled people, forcing a cut to Employment Support Allowance through the Lords. Not content with this, they now want to further their assault on the young.

The Living Wage Foundation suggests a more realistic living wage is £8.25 an hour – £9.40 for those in London. In 2014, the Trade Union Congress adopted the demand of bakers’ union BFAWU and the Socialist Party, for a £10 an hour minimum wage. Once again, the Tories fall short of delivering yet more of their empty promises.

The National ‘Living’ Wage won’t make much difference to the millions of workers on zero-hour and temporary contracts. We are unlikely to get enough hours to make the rent regardless of the raise.

Workers under 25 shouldn’t be made a fool of with this outright discrimination. If young workers organise – alongside older workers – together we can win the same rate for the same job, and a real living wage for all.

Socialist Party members will be joining Fast Food Rights and Youth Fight for Jobs activists to leaflet workplaces on 1 April. This should include organising after-work meetings encouraging young workers to join a union.

Meetings should also build for a day of demonstrations on 14 April against this insulting super-exploitation of young workers, while demanding a real living wage of £10 an hour with no exceptions.

  • Send details of your plans for 1 and 14 April to [email protected] Share your experiences of low pay and zero-hour contracts using the hashtags #JoinAUnion and #NotFooledToday.