Anger at struggling Lancashire workers' low pay

Trade unions have slammed  new figures that show more than a fifth of workers in the North West earn less than the Living Wage.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 1:13 pm
Preston fares better than most in paying the Living Wage

The Living Wage Foundation says that the new rate will rise to £9.50, which is a 20p boost.

And for those living in London, the rate will increase to £10.85, a 10p increase.

The UK real Living Wage rate is 78p per hour higher than the government Minimum Wage for over 25s.

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Lynn Collins

But the TUC says 602,000 workers (21 per cent) in the North West are earning less.

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “People who work for a living ought to earn a decent living. It’s not right that so many people here in the North West don’t earn enough to cover basic living costs like food for their families or money for rent and bills.

“And many of those struggling to get by will be the key workers getting us through this crisis – such as carers, supermarket staff and delivery drivers.

“The prime minister promised to ‘level up’ Britain. Ministers must start by working with unions to ‘level up’ pay and conditions across the country, including here in the North West”

The analysis found that women are more likely to be paid below the real Living Wage than men, with 25 per cent of women in the region paid below the rate, compared to 18 per cent of men.

Overall, part-time workers are worst affected, with 38 per cent paid below the rate, including 41 per cent of men working part-time.

Wyre local authority is the third worst affected local authority in the country, with 41 per cent of workers paid below the real Living Wage.

Blackpool is 17th with 35 per cent of workers paid less.

Preston fares much better on 19 per cent. Preston Council tweeted: “We are proud to have been real LivingWage employers since 2008 and to have more than 50 employers in #Preston paying the real living wage.”

Coun Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, said: “In general, it’s the lower paid key workers who have steered us through the last few months and they all deserve job security and the dignity of being paid at least the real living wage.

"We have paid it to all our council staff and promoted it to other employers since 2011, which has benefitted many people – especially women and those from a BAME background.

“Across Preston the news continues to be positive. For me, this is what Community Wealth Building is all about.

"With nearly 40 per cent of Preston’s employees in the public sector, by working to ensure many anchor institutions are also accredited it can only have a really positive effect in our city.”

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