People Before Profit spokesperson, Cllr Brid Smith, has called on more workers to join a union and fight for worker’s rights after figures released by the Nevin Institute showed surging levels of low wages across the country. Almost 400,000 workers now earn just 12.20 per hour, below the Eurostat threshold for low pay, while over 60% of all low-paid workers are women.
Cllr Smith said, “the so-called economic recovery is being built on a race to the bottom when it comes to many workers pay and conditions. All talk of ‘recovery’ from this government is utterly meaningless for those workers earning very low wages in the likes of the retail, agriculture and food sectors and languishing in precarious employment on zero-hour contracts. It’s disgraceful that employers are making huge profits again at the expense of workers struggling on poverty wages.”
Cllr Smith continued, “It’s shocking that one in three women workers are in danger of becoming low paid. Many are the primary earners, struggling to pay bills and feed their families. That nearly 40% of workers in the private sector are low paid compared to 10.5% in the public sector demonstrates an absolute need for many workers to join a union to combat the worsening levels of low pay and poverty among ordinary working people.”