The Young Communist League welcomes Living Wage Week (3rd – 9th Nov) and urges young workers and students to support the demonstrations and lobbies in support of the campaign.
The living wage campaign has highlighted the inadequacies of the minimum wage in meeting the rising cost of living and has thrust the lowest-paid workers’ daily struggle to get by into the spotlight.
On the campaign website, it points to independent research showing that employers have seen that paying workers more means they are more productive and their work is of a higher quality. More importantly it allows employees to better provide for their families.
While the campaign has helped many workers move away from poverty pay, history has shown as the futility of relying on bosses to improve workers’ lot.
The year-long struggle by cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro – resulting in a fantastic victory for the RMT union members including a 20 per cent pay rise – shows that employers will not just give up gains for the working-class but that they must be won by united, co-ordinated action.
The Trade Union Congress pointed out at the start of Living Wage Week that Britain’s biggest firms increased their cash reserves by £83 billion between 2007 and 2012 while Britain’s workers are enduring the worst pay squeeze in more than a century.
YCL general secretary Zoe Hennessy said it was vital to support the living wage campaign.
“But as communists we want so much more for the working class,” she said.
“Workers in Britain have some of the worst trade union rights in Europe and need to fight for the repeal of Thatcher’s anti-trade union laws. We also need to fight to end unscrupulous zero hours contracts and temporary rolling contracts.”