‘Wage Rage’ report reveals a generation’s coordinated fight against low pay

April 16th 2019

The STUC today released a report showing that more than half of the workers surveyed receive lower wages than their co-workers despite doing the same job.

It came after dozens of young workers attended STUC’s 122nd Annual Congress yesterday to discuss their experience of rock-bottom pay and their efforts to win a decent living standard.

Minimum Wage laws allow workers to be paid less based on their age, even if their job, skills, and experience match those of colleagues. Young workers in Scotland frequently contact the Better Than Zero campaign to express their anger about discriminatory pay, and are finding innovative ways to push up their pay.

After years of stagnant wages, the tightening labour market has seen upwards pressure on pay in the hospitality sector and some other low-paid areas of the economy. Workers are discussing how to make the most of the extra bargaining power to secure a decent living at work. Anthea Koon, chair of the STUC Youth Committee that hosted the event and commissioned the report said:

‘Something is shifting in the culture of low paid workplaces. Young people are starting to reject the idea that they are at the mercy of their bosses and are joining trade unions in numbers we haven’t seen before. We are seeing the injustice for what it is and we are no longer going to sit back and be unfairly treated.'

‘There are signs that young workers are finding better ways to win more pay, rights and respect. Wage rage will keep growing and unions will be ready to support workers in the fight to end poverty pay.’

Stella Rooney, from Unite Hospitality Dundee said,

‘In Dundee we are developing a new kind of network for people working in the industry to share experiences, learn their rights, and above all build up the skills and support to improve our work.

‘If one of us goes to a boss with an issue we risk putting our livelihoods at risk, but by coming together we are able to determine the standards we want to work in.

‘Every union once began as a group of workers coming together against the odds to call for better terms, that is what we are doing in Dundee.’


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