Britain needs a pay rise

Head Office Circular No HO/116/14                          2nd July 2014


Dear Colleagues,
Britain needs a pay rise, or at least 99% of working people do. That’s why the RMT, through our Political Fund is supporting the Trade Union Congress National demonstration on October 18th which will begin with a march through central London, culminating in a rally in Hyde Park.

Workers in the UK are £2000 a year worse off than they were at the start of the recession, and at the current rates it will be ten years before the level of prosperity enjoyed then is restored.

Today, in one of the most developed economies in the world, there are working people visiting food banks, choosing between which household bills to avoid this week and let go into the red. Workers so poorly paid they have their wages topped up by in-work benefits. Workers juggling two or three, even four insecure, zero hours contracts to make just enough to get by.

All of this while the top 1% enjoy a greater share of the nation’s wealth.

RMT has always believed that the best way for working people to secure better wages is through the benefits of collective bargaining delivered by strong unions at work. But we also want a stronger and well enforced minimum wage, modern wages councils in sectors that can afford them, greater pressure to ensure workers are paid a living wage and fairer public sector settlements for our nurses, teachers, firefighters and other public sector workers.

That's why the RMT, via your Political Fund, is supporting this campaign and our brothers and sisters in the TUC and demanding strong action that will move our economy back in the right direction. We want:
•    Higher wages for all:
We know that in many sectors employers could afford to pay more without making job losses. That's why we need to be given back the share of our wages lost since the start of the financial crash. We did not create this mess and should not have to pay for it.
•    A proper living wage for all:
Companies that can well afford to pay the living wage are not doing so and contractors are winning lucrative public sector contracts by continuing to pay poverty wages. We need to ensure everyone pays their staff, and those in their supply chains, the living wage. While the national minimum wage provides a basic protection from extreme low pay it's no use if not properly enforced. We want the Government to publicly name and shame all those companies who aren't paying up.
•    A crackdown on excessive executive pay:
Pay at the top continues to rocket, fuelling inequality and more of the excessive financial risk taking that caused this crisis. We need real action to get top pay under control starting with higher taxes but also worker representation on pay committees, and far more transparency about just how much the fat cats are being paid.
For all these reasons we are supporting this demonstration on October 18th and I urge all branches to mobilise and organise members to ensure a strong and united RMT presence on the day.
More details will follow as they become known but some information is already available on the TUC website at
Yours sincerely,

Mick Cash
Acting General Secretary