Let’s put an end to foul pay in football and in every workplace!
The football season kicked off this weekend all over the country. We all know that footballers, particularly in the Premiership, get paid some astronomical salaries. Each year there is much speculation around the transfer deals and salaries being offered, but little does anyone question the working conditions of those behind the scenes of a club, in the office, the catering staff or those staffing the turnstiles.
Some may know that I am a proud Trade Unionist, which is why last weekend I was delighted to have been invited to a five a side football match sponsored by my Union, the GMB. The event was designed to highlight the "End Foul Pay" campaign amongst football league clubs.
It is estimated that there are around 450,000 people in Yorkshire earning less than the living wage and it is therefore vital that these clubs set an example, particularly to our young people, and pay the grounds staff, catering staff, office staff etc a fair days pay for a fair days work. After all, the football matches wouldn't go ahead without their input.
An Early Day Motion 355 has been submitted that I have signed. It calls on all football league clubs to pay their staff a living wage.
Obviously it’s not just football clubs who are not paying a fair wage to their employees. It is an issue all over the country in the private and public sector. Kirklees has one of the highest proportions of people earning below the living wage in the whole of Yorkshire & the Humber.
Woman and part time workers are disproportionately affected. 26% of jobs held by woman and 42% held by part time workers pay less than the living wage. This only adds to the misery of many women who are already losing thousands of pounds in tax credit cuts.
A living wage benefits everyone in society. Better pay means the welfare bill is reduced, employers benefit through staff loyalty and higher productivity and the economy grows due to people having more money to spend.
Government departments and local authorities need to set a bench mark and be living wage employers. Currently there are just 82 councils in England and Wales paying or committed to paying their staff a living wage. If local authorities pay their staff a living wage and have policies in place ensuring the procurement of services of companies they commission pay a living wage then living standards will rise.
Better pay and working conditions from rights to paid holiday, maternity leave and ending child labour are all things we benefit from thanks to the Trade Union movement. This government is determined to destroy that. Trade Unions represent everyday workers and fight for a fair deal in the work place. As a committed Trade Unionist I will fight tooth and nail against the Trade Union Bill which is the biggest attack on workers’ rights in a generation. I will always fight for fair pay and the rights of workers.