As real terms inflation (the RPI) crashes into double–digits at 11.1 per cent, the leader of the Unite union hit back at demands for wage restraint, saying that calls for reflection should be directed to FTSE 100 CEOs who have seen their pay packages swell by more than one third.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The alarm bells are ringing very loudly now. Earnings are being pummelled, the government is, shamefully, turning its back on those in need and employers are squeezing wages. So, we will absolutely take no more lectures on pay restraint from the millionaire governor of the Bank of England.
“If Andrew Bailey wants to lecture anyone about belt-tightening, he should direct his attention to the CEOs of the UK’s top 100 companies who have seen their wages swell by an average of 34 per cent to an astonishing £4.1 million a year,” she added. “Ask them to pause to reflect about the scale of their corporate greed.
“Workers, on the other hand, are at least £70 worse off than this time last year and are being battered by spiralling food and energy costs,” Graham continued. “Telling them to pay for a crisis which is absolutely not of their making is obscene and totally unacceptable to Unite.
“Unite’s answer to the current crisis is that employers who can pay decent wages but won’t will face industrial action. I can tell you that we don’t intend to shift from that,” she went on to say.
“We have been involved in over 300 disputes since I became general secretary. Fifty thousand union members have been involved in industrial action in that time and we’ve won millions of pounds in pay uplifts. Being in a strong union like Unite is the only way for workers to defend their jobs, pay and conditions and get a decent ‘share of the pie’.”
By Ryan Fletcher