Green Party backs campaign for £15 an hour minimum wage
The Green Party has backed the campaign for a £15 an hour minimum wage at their autumn conference in Birmingham. This comes after members voted overwhelmingly for an emergency motion which expressed support for the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union’s (BFAWU) ‘Fight for 15’ campaign, and for “an end to age-based pay discrimination and for better working conditions for all workers”.
Speaking on the passing of the motion, proposer Alexander Sallons said:
Working as a hospitality worker in one of the most expensive cities to live in outside of London, you’re lucky if you can take 50% of your pay after rent and bills.
We desperately need a £15 minimum wage and we need strong trade unions that are fighting for that like BFAWU, especially in some of the jobs most at risk of climate change like mine – coffee – and I’m glad that the Green Party has supported my motion.
The motion backed by party members also expressed solidarity with the BFAWU following their recent disaffiliation from the Labour Party, and requested that the Greens’ leadership inform the union of this.
Chair of the Green Party Trade Union Group Matthew Hull said he was “delighted” that the motion passed. He said:
I’m delighted that Green Party Conference has extended solidarity to the BFAWU following their disaffiliation from the Labour Party, and backed their campaign for a £15 minimum wage workers can truly live on.
With the Liberal Democrats nowhere to be seen, and the Labour Party failing workers at every turn, the Green Party must step up and truly represent working people in the face of this Tory government’s brutal attacks on our living standards. This motion is a statement of intent that workers and their unions have home in the Green Party.
Earlier at the party’s conference, members voted to support publicly funded care for disabled adults, free at the point of use.
This article was jointly published with Left Foot Forward.
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Image credit: War on Want – Creative Commons
£15 a hour = £600 for a 40 hour week
£600 for a 40 hour week = £31,200 for a 52 week year
This is higher than the median income for UK full time workers, I believe (though I’m not an expert on income statistics)
Many jobs simply don’t generate enough value to justify paying £31000 a year (plus employers’ NI, pension contribution etc etc) – the customer would simply rather keep their money and spend it on something else
I don’t think this is realistic, sadly.
I tend to agree with you Derek. I am now retired and don’t find it difficult to live on around £180 a week ( basic pension plus about £15 )with no rental or mortgage. Think I live probably more frugally than most though not at the expense of comfort and enjoyment, ie warm house,good food, the odd social event, week camping etc. Perhaps a weekly minimum income might be better, ie 30 hours at £15 would probably give an income of around £400 after tax similar to working 40 hours at £10 an hour. Obviously if £600 a week became a minimum, qualified nurses, teachers, bus drivers,council staff, construction workers, etc would want substantially more.
The lowest wages have left the £15 campaign behind already in almost all cases. The union quoted above is attempting to deflect from the terrible job they’ve done negotiating, which has locked their members into a terrible deal* which sees them almost the only people in the country not to benefit from rising wages. They are now trying to get the government to bail them out by raising the minimum wage.
*The last negotiations saw them agree to a fixed period without further negotiation attempts, in return for a very minimal raise. It is now a massive loser for the unionised workers, who have committed to working for less money than the market rate.
Emergency motions are not the way to make policy.