Date 5 May 2009
Employers urged to ‘Grasp the Thistle’ on living wage.
The Scottish Living Wage Campaign today urged employers in the
public, private and voluntary sectors to put an end to poverty
wages by raising the earnings of their lowest paid workers to
the Scottish living wage level of £7.00 per hour.
The Campaign will launch the Scottish Living Wage Employer award
at 10.30am today (5 May), at Dalmarnock Community Centre, 3 Lily
Street, Glasgow, G40 3HJ.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said; “At least
700,000 workers in Scotland earn less than £7.00 per hour. The
majority of these are women and work in the private sector although
a significant number also work in the public and voluntary sectors.
At a time of recession it is vital that all employers take steps
to make ensure that their most valuable assets, their workers,
are protected. Evidence shows that paying a living wage is good
for workers, business, communities and the wider economy. These
are challenging times that require brave decisions”.
The Scottish Living Wage Award will be awarded to those employers
who pay all of their workers no less than the Scottish Living
Wage of £7.00 per hour.
Dave Moxham Deputy General Secretary of the STUC said: “Poverty
wages are bad for people, bad for business and bad for society
as a whole. Establishing a Living Wage at a basic decency threshold
will not solve the problems of low pay, but it can go a significant
way to improving the situation of tens of thousands of workers
in Scotland. We are looking forward to uniting trade unions, community
groups, faith organisations and enlightened employers in local
campaigns across Scotland.”
The Scottish Living Wage Campaign is supported by voluntary and
community organisations, trade unions and the faith community.
The award will be launched in Dalmarnock where guests will hear
from local people about their experiences of living on low incomes
and the difference a living wage would mean to them.
Kenny Faulds a community activist in Dalmarnock said: “Supporting
the campaign for a living wage - means supporting sustainable
local communities" Campaigners believe that there is a strong
social, economic and moral case for employers to end the practice
of paying poverty wages to the hundreds of thousands of workers
doing jobs that many would find unappealing. Evidence suggests
that many of these workers have two or even three jobs to afford
to feed their families and heat their homes.
Martin Johnstone from the Church of Scotland said:: “In the midst
of a recession one of the challenges is to come out of it with
a more equal society. The Living Wage, if implemented, will help
to create a healthier and better society for all.”
The launch will include the presentation of the first Living
Wage Employer Award to Glasgow City Council, after they increased
the pay of all of their low paid staff to the Scottish Living
Steven Purcell, Leader of the Council, said: “I am delighted
to accept this award on behalf of Glasgow City Council and congratulate
the Scottish Living Wage Campaign on the work they have done to
raise awareness of low pay in Scotland. It is simply unacceptable
that almost one in five of Glasgow’s workers are paid less than
£7 an hour and the Glasgow Living Wage has the potential to make
a huge difference to thousands of families across the city. In
times of economic difficulties, we know that the lowest paid workers
suffer disproportionately. I believe that the introduction of
the Glasgow Living Wage is the right thing to do and it is another
vital step towards ensuring that all of our citizens can share
in the city’s success.”
Notes to editors: The Scottish Living Wage Campaign is
lead by the Poverty Alliance, The STUC, Faith in Community Scotland
and UNISON. The Campaign is working with community groups, voluntary
organisations, faith based organisations and trade unions to improve
the pay of workers across Scotland.
For comment contact: Peter Kelly Poverty Alliance 0141
353 0440 07766 606454 Eddie Follan Poverty Alliance 0141 353 0440
07810 854165 Dave Moxham STUC 0141 337 8100 07891 026870