Steepest drop in real wages since 2014

Unite: latest ONS figures show that “employers are actively forcing workers to pay price of the pandemic”

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Real wages have fallen by 1 per cent in the three months to February – the steepest drop since 2014 – according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures from the ONS show that even though weekly wages surged by 4 per cent over the three month period, the rise was eaten away by skyrocketing inflation compared to the same period in the previous year.

Over the last year, real wages fell by more than 2 per cent, with public sector workers bearing the biggest brunt – a 4.2 per decrease in real wages when adjusted for inflation.

The latest figures showing falling real wages come even as there are a record number of job vacancies – 1.3m in January to March 2022. Experts believe real wages will continue to take a hit as inflation swallows up wage rises, with inflation estimated to exceed 8 per cent later this year.

Commenting, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has said the latest ONS figures show that “employers are actively forcing workers to pay the price of the pandemic”.

“The facts are there in the latest stats for all to see,” she added. “This includes mega corporations, like Exxon and Caterpillar, whose shareholder dividends are soaring while their workers are offered poverty wages. The only way this big business profiteering can be stopped is by building the strength of trade unions to fight for a better deal. In the last six months Unite’s wage deal wins have proved that.”

Sharon Graham is now going to set up a union commission to expose corporate profiteering. Unite’s Profiteering Commission will make regular reports on companies who are making excessive profits and paying poverty wages.

Sharon Graham added, “When Unite’s Profiteering Commission is up and running there will be no place to hide for companies making millions but paying their workers in pennies. It’s time these corporate giants were held to account. Their relentless profiteering – very often based on looting the public purse – has got to stop”.

By UniteLive team

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