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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 August 2016

UK wage drop as bad as Greece

UK workers have lost a tenth of their real wages, while bosses continue to grow richer, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)

UK workers have lost a tenth of their real wages, while bosses continue to grow richer, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Aaron Bailey

Workers in the UK have suffered the biggest fall in real wages among advanced capitalist countries, according to new analysis published by the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Meanwhile, bosses are cutting more jobs.

The analysis shows that between 2007 and 2015, real wages in the UK fell by 10.4%, a drop equalled only by Greece. The average among all OECD countries - most of the leading economies - was +6.7%.

In contrast, the UK's richest 1,000 families have more than doubled their wealth since 2009, rising by 112% to 547 billion. They now own more than the poorest 40% of British households combined.

And due to the majority of workers defying the bosses and voting to leave the capitalist EU, bosses have struck out at us.

Recruitment consultants say they have seen the number of full-time permanent posts drop rather than rise for the first time since 2009. The cause? "Heightened uncertainty" surrounding the referendum.

I myself am a worker on the minimum wage who is forced to go above and beyond for my workplace while receiving little to no gratitude from my bosses.

All these situations show again that austerity measures are not delivering for workers like we were promised. The rich continue to get richer, while us workers continue to get poorer.

But this can be stopped. 2015 had the fewest days lost to strike action in ten years.

It's time for trade unions to turn that around and lead a fight for decent jobs and wages for all. Coordinated strikes against austerity and for a 10 an hour minimum wage would be a good start.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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