Kings Chase Shopping Centre
20th Dec. 2014
09:00 – 13:00
Bristol Trades Union Council’s campaign for decent jobs starts in Kingswood on Saturday 20th December 2014. Why Kingswood? Because it has the country’s highest percentage of workers paid less than the Living Wage.
Read on for more information about the campaign and for how you can help us on the day.
Where to find us: On the day we’re be just outside the covered area of Kings Chase Shopping Centre, Regent Street, between Boswells Café and the Post Boxes. Very close to the main bus stop. There will be a stall, the Bristol Trades Union Council (Bristol TUC) and Labour Party banners plus Union flags.
Please come and join us and give your support, either by volunteering to help distribute our leaflet “Kingswood Needs Decent Jobs” or engaging with the workers of Kingswood. If you can volunteer for an hour or two, please complete the form below, you can volunteer for more than one slot. You don’t have to fill in the form if you don’t want to – just turn up between 09:00 and 13:00.
Millions of people in the UK are trapped in lowpaid, insecure jobs. There are more than 1.4 million zero-hours contracts in use, offering no steady work. Others, such as agency and casual workers, lose out on important rights and benefits.
Though the recovery is creating new jobs many are of poor quality. As a result, more and more people struggle to pay their rent, mortgage and heat their homes. Women and young workers are particularly affected.
In Kingswood why has the TUC’s campaign Decent Jobs Week headlined on the Living Wage. Because it has the country’s highest percentage of workers paid less than the Living Wage.
The Living Wage is the least that workers need to earn to meet their basic needs, and so it is set higher than the Minimum Wage. The Living Wage outside London is £7.85 per hour, and shockingly 48% of all workers in Kingswood are paid less than this, for women the figure is 56%.
Workers across the country are having their living standards squeezed, with workers in South Gloucestershire having had their average pay cut by 84% in real terms since 2010.
This has happened because employers are exploiting the workers of Kingswood, more than anywhere else in the country, at a time when jobs are hard to come by. Bristol Trades Union Council and the TUC want to help workers in Kingswood fight for Decent Jobs.
By Decent Jobs, we mean jobs that are secure, have guaranteed hours, and pay rates on or above the Living Wage. Where workers are organised together in a trade union they tend to get better pay and conditions. In those shops, factories and offices where there are no trade unions, some employers can set worker against worker driving down wages with poor working conditions and at worst forcing workers into “zero” hours contracts.
Workers in Kingswood have a proud history of standing up for themselves, but changes in the type of jobs has weakened this tradition. Now is the time for workers in Kingswood to help establish Kingswood as the town that has Decent Jobs. Join a trade union!
Responding to today’s official figures showing an increase of the use of zero hours contracts to 1.8 million, Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said: “These figures make an utter mockery of the government’s claim to have inspired a ‘jobs miracle’. Ever increasing numbers of people are being forced into a hand to mouth existence with no guarantee of work, not knowing from one week to the next whether they will be able to pay the bills.
The full press release can be found here here Zero hours figures expose hand to mouth existence of mill…
We had a successful morning in Kingswood. Collected many signatures on our Decent Jobs Christmas card to Cameron, should be interesting to see if he bothers to reply!
We heard lots of stories on how the economic crisis has affected the people of Kingswood whether they were in work or not. Made a number of useful contacts and heard some “interesting” comments about their useless MP!
btw the MP for Kingswood is the Tory Chris Skidmore who was recently exposed for having links to private healthcare interests and also voting for privatisation of the NHS. Read more at Tories in 15 billion pounds NHS sell off scandal
The TUC has issued a report on zero-hour contracts stating that “The TUC believes that endemic poor treatment at work should not be tolerated. ”
The report can be found here –
The Decent Jobs Deficit – The Human Cost of Zero-Hours Working in the UK