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Pay victories celebrated at Socialism 2014
We can win £10 an hour
Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network chair
Socialist Seattle city councillor Kshama Sawant brought the house down at Socialism 2014 in London on 8 November. She spoke about her election victory and the successful campaign she led to win a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle.
Now a new report highlights the low pay trap that is keeping millions of workers in poverty pay. The Resolution Foundation estimates that only one in four workers who were low paid in 2001 have moved on to jobs with higher pay. But as Kshama and the BFAWU bakers' union President Ian Hodson said from the Socialism platform, there is an escape from low pay - if we fight for it!
In Seattle, Kshama's incredible victory gave a political voice to the struggle of fast food workers and opened the door to a pay rise of almost 40% for the poorest! This has lifted the sights of workers throughout the US as other states and cities are forced into concessions.
Why should it be any different here? Just over the last few weeks, we've seen workers in St Mungo's Broadway homelessness charity and Greenwich libraries, with Socialist Party members playing important roles alongside others, win real victories. If unions give a determined lead, their members can have the confidence to fight to break the scourges of low pay and zero-hour contracts.
We can take inspiration from these victories, here and in the US. Let's commit ourselves to the industrial and political struggles needed to smash the pay freeze and win a £10 an hour minimum wage now!
15 Jul Council workers strike back
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