TUC chief urges wages boost in ‘fairly shared’ recovery

'Stop attacking trade unions and start working with us instead,' O'Grady
'Stop attacking trade unions and start working with us instead,' O'Grady

The Government is being urged to stop attacking trade unions and help to boost workers’ wages after new research showed average weekly pay is £40 below pre-recession levels.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady called for an end to the UK’s “two speed” economy, which she said had left some workers behind.

In her new year message, she said: “According to the Government, we’re out of the doldrums and getting back to economic health. But not everyone is feeling it. Wages still haven’t recovered, and won’t for some years to come.

“It will take until 2018 for average earnings just to get back to the real value they held in 2008. Ten years of pay going backwards while everything else - transport, housing, bills - gets ever more expensive and debt piles up. A lost decade.

“Decent wages and security for your family shouldn’t just be the preserve of those at the top of the tree, but should be on offer for everyone. That’s the recovery I want to see - a recovery that’s fairly shared.”

The TUC leader said the Government had failed to invest in skills, which had led to productivity languishing 13% below its level before the recession in 2008.

She urged employers and the Government to motivate workers with decent pay and conditions so they can take pride in what they do.

“To Government, I say this: you promised to be on the side of the workers. You say you want a high wage, high growth country. We want that too. So in 2016 stop attacking trade unions and start working with us instead.

“That’s how we build a Britain where we all move forward together.”