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Stoke-on-Trent workers facing $556 real terms pay cut

written by Bella Palmer

The TUC is calling on the government to raise the minimum wage and a permanent increase to Universal Credit

Workers in Stoke-on-Trent are facing a £445 ($556) real terms pay cut this year due to rocketing inflation, union leaders say. UK inflation hit a 40-year high of nine per cent in April as food and energy costs have soared.

And according to analysis by the Trades Union Congress, this will mean pay packets in Stoke-on-Trent will be worth £445 ($556) less in 2022 compared to 2021, as the cost of living outstrips increases in wages.

The TUC is calling on the government to implement a number of measures to address the cost of living crisis, including raising the minimum wage to at least £10 ($12.51) an hour and a permanent increase to Universal Credit.

Union leaders, including PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, NEU general secretary Mary Bousted, and NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach, are due to attend a rally at the GMB's Stoke-on-Trent office this evening, ahead of a national march in London on June 18.

They say that weak wage growth in recent years has left families badly exposed to the cost of living crisis. Households have already seen their annual energy bills rise by around £700 ($875) following the lifting of the price cap, with further increases expected.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced that families would get £400 ($500) energy bill discounts as a result of the government's windfall tax U-turn. But unions believe ministers should be doing more.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: People shouldn’t be struggling to cover the basics. But pay packets in Stoke-on-Trent have taken a rapid fall – in real terms – in just 12 months.

And years of wage stagnation have left workers badly exposed to Britain’s cost of living crisis. Even with the Chancellor’s recently announced cost-of-living support package, families will still struggle to keep their heads above water this autumn, she said.

Years of attacks on wages and universal credit have left many households on the brink. With energy bills rising 23 times faster than wages we urgently need to get wages rising and to pay universal credit at a permanently higher rate – not just a one-off boost, she said.

She said: That’s the best way to protect livelihoods and to support the economy. We’re marching on 18 June to demand better for all workers.

TUC Midlands Regional Secretary Lee Barron added: Working people in the Midlands are facing the biggest fall in living standards in generations. Everything is going up but wages.


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