Ian Austin MP

Independent MP for Dudley North

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Austin back campaign for better pay for workers

Dudley MP Ian Austin is backing a campaign by the shop workers’ union Usdaw for better pay and workers’ rights for people in the Black Country.

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The ‘Time for better pay’ campaign is calling on the Government to strengthen workers’ rights by introducing:

  • A minimum wage rate of at least £10 per hour for all workers.
  • A minimum contract of 16 hours per week for everyone who wants it.
  • A contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work.
  • An end to zero-hours contracts.

Usdaw’s survey of over 10,500 working people about their experiences of low pay, short-hours contracts and insecure work shows that stronger employment rights are urgently needed:

  • Over the past five years, 92% of those surveyed have seen no improvement in their financial situation.
  • Over the past 12 months 76% of low-paid workers have had to rely on unsecured borrowing to pay everyday bills.
  • 63% of people believe that financial worries are having an impact on their mental health.

Austin has signed a petition calling on the Government to tackle low pay, short-hours contracts and insecure work.

Ian Austin MP said:

“I hear time and time again from people in Dudley who are struggling on low paid jobs, with insecure hours and zero-hour contracts.

“I know families who have been forced in to debt by borrowing money from pay-day lenders and loan sharks, just so they can afford food and day-to-day household bills. I have also heard from people who travel to work each day in the hope of some hours, only to be sent home as there is not enough work to go around. 

“People who go to work should earn enough to cover their bills and know that that they will have a secure job to go to the next day. It is time for the Government to act to tackle low pay and insecure hours of work.”

Paddy Lillis, General Secretary of USDAW said:

 “Going out to work should mean a decent standard of living for everyone. That’s why Usdaw is calling on the Government to tackle low pay and insecure work through our ‘time for better pay’ campaign.

“We need real and urgent improvements to workers’ rights to deliver an economy which works in favour of all working people. Through a petition to Government we are seeking to force the Government to respond directly to our calls.”

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