Search Class

How unions can Make Work Pay

This new pamphlet commissioned by GMB and produced in association with Class argues that the roots of Britain’s cost of living crisis lie in the fact that work simply no longer pays for millions of people across the country.

This pamphlet shows that even since 2008, the world of work has changed dramatically as widening inequality has accelerated - with new and more aggressive tactics adopted by many employers to reduce labour costs at the expense of working people across the board. Unemployment is being replaced by state-supported under-employment at a faster rate than ever.

This pamphlet argues that if the cost of living crisis is to be tackled; if workers are going to be able to pay the rent, childcare, food and utility bills; then wages and hours of work must be increased. Trade unions in the workplace are best placed for making this happen. But trade unions cannot improve the lives of their members’ one Employment Tribunal claim at a time. And now, with government reforms making it even harder for people to get access to justice and secure their legal rights at work, the need for stronger trade union representation in the workplace is even greater.

High rents, high childcare costs, security of employment and working hours have to become central to the GMB agenda on pay in our negotiations with employers going forward. This pamphlet sets out what GMB sees as the 6 biggest challenges facing Britain's working poor and sets out the scale of the challenge ahead. Low Pay Commissions, Living Wage campaigns and charities can, and do, support the work of trade unions. Food banks and in-work benefits can keep body and soul together when pay packets aren’t enough to make ends meet. But only trade unions can ensure employers make work pay.

For more information see: