Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1063/29812

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 November 2019

Minimum wage debate: what should we be demanding?

The Socialist is running a debate. How we can end low pay and what minimum wage level should we be fighting for? In this issue, readers share their thoughts. If you've got a view, email editors@socialistparty.org.uk. You can read what's been written so far at socialistparty.org.uk


In my working life we could afford homes and holidays, now its horror without end

Clive Walder, Birmingham South West Socialist Party

The articles on the gig economy in the Socialist are interesting and worthy of further comment. (See 'Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach').

I too enjoyed 'Sorry We Missed You'. It made me glad that I'm at the end and not the beginning of my working life.

My working life spanned a period when strong trade unions negotiated half-decent pay and working conditions and we could afford to buy houses and have holidays.

The film's message - that work for far too many people is horror without end - came over very well. It made me think that I couldn't cope with the modern world of work.

Sorry We Missed You's main weakness was that there was no mention of trade unions. The film would have had even more resonance if there was a scene where Ricky joined a union and tried to get his fellow deliverers to do likewise. Uber Eats and Deliveroo workers have already started to do this in real life.

Chris Parry's article about his life as a taxi driver raised some interesting points. (See 'Life in the gig economy' at socialistparty.org.uk).

Like many people, I have had to fork out for expensive taxi fares when I have missed my last bus and cursed how much I've had to spend. Chris explained the money doesn't go to the cabbie, but in expenses and to the company owner's profit.

Taxis are the only form of public transport that receives no public subsidy. They should be integrated into a publicly owned transport system.

In my job - a customer-relations advisor for a bus company - I often have to write letters to customers to say we won't provide the bus service they think is necessary, because it wouldn't be commercially viable.

A bus service literally for two or three people wouldn't be an efficient use of resources, in many cases. But a publicly owned taxi network could provide taxis to meet those needs.

End low pay! UberEats workers protest over their abysmal wage rates photo Scott Jones, photo Scott Jones

End low pay! UberEats workers protest over their abysmal wage rates photo Scott Jones, photo Scott Jones   (Click to enlarge)


Pay up and bring us back in-house

A Unite the Union local government rep in London

We are launching a 15-an-hour claim with Apcoa Parking in Hackney. Following previous campaigns, they already pay the London Living Wage of 10.55 an hour.

But the Living Wage Foundation is about to announce a higher rate. I know that Camden traffic enforcement get 11.48 already.

As well as increased pay, it's about restoring collective bargaining rights. Like many other contractors, Apcoa stopped pay bargaining and fell back to the London Living Wage only.

We call for parking services to be brought in-house. We couldn't legally put this to a ballot. But this is the underlying demand of the campaign.

The plan is to promote this demand among Unite the Union members and publicly pressure local-authority employers. We've had some success already. School cleaners in Hackney have won the London Living Wage and ended term-time-only pay.

The contractor, Kiers, has now decided to pull out of the contract, because it is not making money. The connection is obvious. We are demanding that Hackney Council now take the service back in-house.


The trade unions can do it

John Merrell, Leicester Socialist Party

The National Living Wage for workers aged over 25, was set at 7.20 an hour in April 2016 with a proposed increase to 9 by April 2020. Introduced by the Tories, if that transpires it will be a 25% increase over four years.

The proposal by Tory chancellor Savid Javid is 10.50 a hour by 2024. It is a worse deal, 17% over four years. Nevertheless, these increases far exceed the pay rises of many other workers under the Tories.

Alistair Tice, writing in the Socialist, pointed out: "There are now two million workers on the minimum wage compared with 700,000 when it was first introduced." This explains the anguish expressed by Band-3 health workers to Socialist Party member Jon Dale. (See 'Minimum wage debate: how can we end the scandal of low pay?').

What if the trade unions - representing the most-organised workers - achieved better pay without youth exemptions, and the reinstatement of differentials reflecting skills and expertise based on 'equal pay for work of equal value'?

That would be a benchmark for trade unions to campaign among less-well-organised workers to achieve the same. Especially where there is a relationship between two sets of workers, for example, the motor industry and its parts suppliers or local authorities and their providers of goods and services.

What should the minimum wage be? I agree with Jon Dale. "12 an hour should be the headline figure."

What should it be in London? Most if not all national pay agreements include a London uplift. In my former industry, it was the London Weighting Allowance.

If there is a consensus across national union agreements on the percentage uplift, it could inform our minimum wage amount for London workers.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 November 2019:


News

Whose side are you on? Tories out - Corbyn in with anti-austerity and socialist policies

Tony Blair launches manifesto to sabotage a Corbyn government

Grenfell fire inquiry spin deflects blame from establishment

General election 2019 round-up


Berlin Wall

30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: How a mass revolutionary movement for genuine socialism was diverted


Socialism 2019

Elections, strikes and revolutions: Socialism 2019 - daring to fight

PCS: "Under the right leadership workers are prepared to fight"

Royal Mail strike: "This is going to be the biggest battle we've seen in Britain for a number of years"

McDonald's: 'I'm fighting for 15 an hour now because I have to work from 7am to midnight'

Northern Ireland: Uniting the working class to transcend division

Preparing to shape events internationally


International socialist news and analysis

End repression in Chile - freedom for soldier David Veloso


Workplace news

PCS: Pay, jobs, pensions... Vote for a fighting general secretary

UCU votes for pay and pension strikes

Incompetent bosses use tech to bully us

1 million cuts plan: Peabody housing workers announce strike ballot

Forbo Flooring Derbyshire strike

West Midlands Trains guards to strike

Double-dealing Hackney council bosses face renewed strike action


Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate: what should we be demanding?


Readers' opinion

TV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 November 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Minimum wage:

triangleMcDonald's: 'I'm fighting for 15 an hour now because I have to work from 7am to midnight'

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The fight for a minimum wage that workers can live on

triangleLife in the gig economy

triangleMinimum wage: What should we be demanding?

triangleMinimum wage debate: how can we end the scandal of low pay?

Pay:

trianglePay, jobs, pensions... Vote for a fighting general secretary

triangleUCU votes for pay and pension strikes

triangleUni workers' pay and pension strike ballot

triangleLondon - 'autumn of discontent'

Workers:

triangleForbo Flooring Derbyshire strike

triangle1 million cuts plan: Peabody housing workers announce strike ballot

trianglePCS: "Under the right leadership workers are prepared to fight"

London:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Fighting for Corbyn's manifesto and more!

triangleHackney Socialist Party: How would socialist nationalisation work?

Living wage:

trianglePCS members at BEIS maintain just fightback

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

6/11/19

Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate: what should we be demanding?

6/11/19

TV

TV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism

30/10/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

30/10/19

TV

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

30/10/19

Film

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

30/10/19

Economy

Life in the gig economy

30/10/19

Councillors

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

24/10/19

Liverpool

Tony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

23/10/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

16/10/19

Trotskyism

Major new book out in November: In Defence of Trotskyism

16/10/19

David Cameron

The Cameron Tory legacy

16/10/19

Tony Mulhearn

Book: The Making of a Liverpool Militant by Tony Mulhearn

9/10/19

Review

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions

9/10/19

Sexual harassment

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

2/10/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999