The South West TUC is calling on all the candidates standing for mayor in November to support the idea of a Living Wage of £7.20 an hour. Bristol City Council is a big employer and the trade union federation believes that it should take the lead in guaranteeing that no one gets below the Living Wage - a rate calculated nationally to provide the basics and cut the need to claim welfare benefits.
The Council is also a huge purchaser of services and the South West TUC believes that it should use its buying power to make the case for the Living Wage idea. It is also calling on the candidates for mayor to champion the Living Wage amongst private firms and make the business case based on improvements in performance and cuts in recruitment costs.
The concept has support from all political parties and a number of councils around the country have signed up to the campaign.
Marvin Rees, the Labour Candidate has declared the Living Wage as one of his key aims. Daniella Radice for the Greens also supports the idea and the need to reduce pay inequality. George Ferguson, independent candidate, has come out against the Living Wage.
South West TUC pay campaigner, Kit Leary is working with unions and campaign groups to make Bristol a Living Wage city. He said 'Low paid workers in Bristol want a decent wage and not rely on tax credits and benefits.
'The candidates to lead Bristol as mayor should seize the opportunity to promote growth and fairness in Bristol.'
George Ferguson accuses those supporting the Living Wage of a lack of understanding of operating in the real world. Kit Leary said 'In the real world of which he speaks, employers across the economy - from councils, to banks, to legal firms, to hotels - and across the country - from London to Edinburgh - are seeing that the Living Wage is not just the right thing to do, but also in the best interests not just of employees, but customers and local communities.'
Press release (400 words) issued 29 Aug 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21351-f0.cfm
printed 19 May 2013 at 22:50 hrs by 18.104.22.168