U.K. unions seek minimum wage hike

TUC calls on government to increase minimum wage 3.5 per cent
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/26/2010

Union leaders in the United Kingdom are stepping up their campaign to have the country's minimum wage rate for adults increased to £6 (C$10.70).

On Oct. 30, the Trans Union Congress (TUC), a federation of trade unions in the U.K., asked the Low Pay Commission, which advises the government on the minimum wage rate, to increase the minimum wage by 3.5 per cent. The current rate for workers over the age of 20 is £5.80 (C$10.34).

The increase is "sensible and affordable" and necessary to ensure low-paid workers don't fall behind other employees, said the TUC.

The increase, which the TUC wants implemented in October 2010, would benefit one million workers, tackle the gender pay gap and help mainly women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds, said the TUC.

"The recession was caused by highly paid people damaging the nation's financial system. It would not be fair to make the low paid suffer a freeze in wages while city bankers still get bonuses, and when there is no economic necessity to do so," said general secretary Brendan Barber.

Workers aged 18 to 20 now get £4.83 and hour while those aged 16 to 17 get £3.57. The TUC wants those rates to rise to £5 and £3.69.

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