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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2016

Fast Food Rights protest, Helen Pattison speaking, photo Judy Beishon

Fast Food Rights protest, Helen Pattison speaking, photo Judy Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

We demand a real living wage

Jaime Davies, Bakers' union member

Some workers will be excited for a pay rise in April as the National 'Living' Wage comes into force. But is it really a great deal for workers? Or is it fool's gold?

The minimum wage is rising from 6.70 an hour to 7.20. But here's the catch - it will only affect over-25s!

Even for them, a 50p increase is not enough to make up for years of rising costs of living. The chancellor, George Osborne, has said that the aim is for the living wage to be over 9 an hour by 2020. By then inflation will mean there is no real pay rise at all!

And the bosses will try to take advantage of this and divide workers. For example, where there are zero-hour contracts they could give fewer hours to the more 'expensive' over-25s compared to the 'cheaper' younger workers.

The Treasury tries to justify the age exemption by saying "the priority is to secure work and gain experience." The millionaires' cabinet seem to be ignoring the reality that prices and bills are the same whatever your age! How are young people supposed to be able to live independently, start a family or just enjoy life?

Fast food rights

We have no option but to keep fighting for a 10 an hour minimum wage now for workers of all ages and an end to zero-hour contracts. We must also demand the right to organise in trade unions in workplaces that don't recognise them - including the multi-million pound fast food companies.

The Tories are only raising the minimum wage at all because they have felt pressure from trade unions and campaigns like Fast Food Rights, which was launched by the bakers' union BFAWU, Youth Fight for Jobs and others.

We must be united and organised to continue fighting for a real pay rise that puts workers' needs before the bosses' greed. We can win a real living wage and oust this hated and divided government.

The Trade Union Congress must show a lead in coordinating action by other workers with the junior doctors, as a step towards a 24-hour general strike.

Join the protest in your local area on 1 April for a proper living wage, decent contracts and trade union rights. If nothing is planned near you yet, consider organising a protest or meeting.

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In The Socialist 30 March 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We demand a real living wage

Teachers and school students march against forced academies

Academy chain axed in head's pay scandal

Disabled activists shame tory cutters

1% worried

What we saw

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

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Kazakhstan: Treatment of political prisoners condemned

International news in brief


European Union referendum

Why socialists should vote to leave the EU

Vote against the EU - but no unity with Tories or UKIP


Socialist Party workplace news

Solidarity with junior doctors

NUT to ballot for action over academies

Museum workers strike to defend pay

Greenwich labour councillors given the red card

Lambeth: Librarians walk out over cuts and privatisation

Tube workers' strike shuts Piccadilly Line

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'No forced academies' demonstrations

Swansea: Fascist thugs made to look pathetic

All you need is love - and a stall!


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Featured letter: 'Universal Jobmatch' con: 'Rabbit trail' of recurring, non-existent job ads

Enter Shikari review: A kaleidoscope of colour

Letter: Inadequate academies


Socialist Party feature

Fighting the great tax robbery: taxes and regulation or socialist nationalisation?


 

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