It has been reported that Tory Lord Wolfson has recently received an £820,000 bonus from Next, at the same time as implying that the living wage is not realistic. Lord Wolfson also claimed that £6.70 is enough to live on.
Next have also been in the spotlight recently for recruiting overseas workers for the store in South Elmsall in a recruitment drive which saw jobs advertised in Poland weeks before they were advertised in the UK.
Lord Wolfson’s comments are a clear indication of Tory policy, the rich are getting richer while everyone else is left to suffer with low wages and insecure jobs.
Since the last election average wages have fallen by £1,600 a year with the number of people getting less than the Living Wage rising from 3.4 million to 5.3 million and I know from talking to my constituents that many people are struggling to cover the basic cost of living and low paid insecure jobs are a big part of their concerns.
Being paid the living wage of £7.65 per hour would make a huge difference to many local families.
Labour would make work pay for the many not the few starting with a minimum wage of at least £8 an hour by 2020. We would also ban employment agencies recruiting only from abroad and close loopholes which allow employment agencies to undercut wages of permanent staff and ban exploitative zero hour contracts.
Labour would also promote greater transparency of pay within the workplace by requiring companies with more than 250 workers to publish their pay scales, meaning many of my constituents who are concerned about unequal pay will be able to see if discrimination exists in their workplace.
Tackling inequality requires a rebalancing of our economy, from promoting a living wage and transforming vocational education to reforming executive pay and helping create good jobs with decent pay
Commenting on Lord Wolfson’s remarks, Tim Roache, the regional secretary of the Yorkshire & North Derbyshire GMB said:
“The example of the retailer ‘Next’ is everything that is wrong with 2015 Tory Britain.
Here we have a business that announced record profits last year, then awards its mega rich boss an £820,000 bonus whilst saying that £6.70 an hour is enough to live on!
When will employers fairly reward the people who help achieve those profits, the workers, and pay them a wage that they can use to put a roof over their heads and feed and clothe the kids”.