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Low Pay Commission investigates the disproportionate impact of low pay on Black workers and hears from Usdaw members

Date: 30 June 2021 Members of the retail trade union Usdaw are today meeting with members of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) as they investigate the disproportionate impact of low pay on Black workers. The meetings will take place in two sessions online.
Usdaw is urging the LPC to increase minimum wage rates at least in line with the planned target to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024. Usdaw continues to campaign for an immediate National Living Wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers, regardless of age, so youth rates are abolished as soon as possible. Usdaw’s full submission: www.usdaw.org.uk/LPC2021
 
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says: “Black workers are overrepresented in low paid, insecure jobs compared to higher paid jobs. So we welcome the LPC meeting a group of our Black members as part of their investigations ahead of recommending new minimum wage rates for next year.
 
“Usdaw’s survey results show that Black workers are significantly more likely to be worried about paying monthly bills and future job security. These results reflect findings from other organisations showing that Black workers and their families are more likely to be at the sharp end of austerity and any cutbacks to the social security system. Usdaw continues to strongly support mandatory Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting.
 
“The impact of the coronavirus crisis continues to be felt across our economy and society, even as we emerge from the current restrictions. Workers in retail, distribution and many other low-paid industries have shown just how vital they are to keeping the UK economy going during a time of extreme pressure. These key workers must not be forgotten and it can only be right that their contribution is recognised with a wage they can live on.
 
“We need a new deal for workers that includes a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour, more secure contracts and an end to rip-off youth pay. The best way to thank key workers is to ensure fairness at work.”
 
Usdaw’s New Deal for Workers calls for:
  • A minimum wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers, ending rip-off youth rates and providing a living wage.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, that reflects normal hours worked and a ban on zero-hour contracts.
  • Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at average earnings.
  • Protection at work – respect for shopworkers, abuse is not a part of the job.
  • A proper social security system, Universal Credit does not provide a safety net.
  • Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and redundancy.
  • Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay.
  • A voice at work, stop rogue employers refusing to engage with trade unions and end ‘fire and rehire’. 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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