max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

TUC boss urges Government to stop attacking trade unions and help boost workers’ wages in new year message

15:14 31 December 2015

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady.

The Government has been urged to stop attacking trade unions and help to boost workers’ wages after new research showed average weekly pay is £40 below pre-recession levels.

Unions boss Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, has issued a new year message warning of a “two speed” economy in the UK which was leaving some workers behind.

“Without government action, Britain is at risk of turning into a ‘below-stairs’ labour market – college leavers are eight times more likely to find work in the service sector than in manufacturing. And when they do find work, it’s too often dead-end, with little chance to progress,” she warned.

While the Government was saying the UK was getting back to economic health, wages had not recovered and wouldn’t for some years to come, she said.

“It will take until 2018 for average earnings just to get back to the real value they held in 2008. Ten years of pay going backwards while everything else - transport, housing, bills - gets ever more expensive and debt piles up. A lost decade,” she said.

“Decent wages and security for your family shouldn’t just be the preserve of those at the top of the tree, but should be on offer for everyone. That’s the recovery I want to see - a recovery that’s fairly shared.”

The TUC leader said the Government had failed to invest in skills, which had led to productivity languishing 13% below its level before the recession in 2008.

“To Government, I say this: you promised to be on the side of the workers. You say you want a high wage, high growth country. We want that too. So in 2016 stop attacking trade unions and start working with us instead.

“That’s how we build a Britain where we all move forward together.”

She called on every worker – freelance, contract, temporary or permanent – to get a group of colleagues together and join a union.

“Feel that support, that confidence and that pride that only comes when you stand with your workmates and use your collective sway to make working life better,” she said.

“To employers, I say: work with us. Help us build motivated workforces on great terms and conditions that can take pride in what they do and will back your business throughout.

“And to government, I say this: as you promised, be on the side of the workers.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, cuts the ribbon to open the new TravelQuest branch in Ipswich, with members of the TravelQuest team.
From left, Vicki Wood, Poppy Brown, John Dugmore, Michelle Thake, Paul Hardwick and Karen Jones.

A Suffolk travel company has expanded with the opening of a second branch.

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, left, and Boshor Ali, chairman of the Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), right, with other supporters of the Suffolk BME Business Awards from Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the University of Suffolk and the BSC.	
Photo: Nigel Brown

More than 40 nominations have been received for the inaugural Suffolk BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Business Awards.

Tim King, group fleet manager at Turners (Soham), left, takes delivery of the firm's newest truck from Eddie Hennessy, regional manager of DAF Trucks UK, representing regional dealership Chassis Cab. 
Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Suffolk-based logistics company Turners (Soham) Ltd has reported increased annual revenues and profit, and says it is “well placed” for further success despite competitive market conditions.

Sandy Jackson - Mark Westley Photography

British Gas has been forced to backtrack after repeatedly billing a 91-year-old great-grandmother for hundreds of pounds more than she owed.

Ian Thoroughgood, associate director at Grant Thornton in Ipswich, with Jonathan Agar, chief executive of Birketts.

Business advisers firm Grant Thorton is to unveil its 15th “Suffolk Limited” report next month on how the county’s leading businesses have performed over the past year.


Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24