Date: Monday 24th October
For Immediate Release
The Midlands TUC have today (Monday) written an open letter to all the Mayoral candidates for the West Midlands Combined Authority.
The letter calls on the candidates to commit the West Midlands Combined Authority to become an accredited Living Wage employer and to use its procurement policies to spread the Living Wage throughout the West Midlands.
In the letter, Lee Barron, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary says "The Trades Union Congress in the Midlands is absolutely committed to help in building a world class economy fit to be called the ‘Midlands Engine’, but we are clear in that the only way a world class economy can be built is with world class jobs, terms and conditions. Not zero hours contracts, bogus self-employment, low wages and job insecurity."
Notes to editors
The full text of the letter is below
The new living wage figure is set to be announced on Monday 31st October 2016, the current rate, which is £8.25 per hour will be increased following calculations by the Living Wage Foundation to set an hourly rate of pay which allows working people to enjoy the basics in life.
The Living Wage enjoys cross party support and paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for a fairer society.
As a candidate in the forthcoming Mayoral election in the West Midlands I am writing to you to seek your commitment to be an accredited Living Wage employer for your own staff and to use the procurement powers of the West Midlands Combined Authority, if elected, to spread the Living Wage throughout the West Midlands.
The Trades Union Congress in the Midlands is absolutely committed to help in building a world class economy fit to be called the ‘Midlands Engine’, but we are clear in that the only way a world class economy can be built is with world class jobs, terms and conditions. Not zero hours contracts, bogus self-employment, low wages and job insecurity. The successfully elected mayor will have a significant role to play in leading the West Midlands economy. By committing to the new independently calculated Living Wage on 31st October you will be sending the most powerful message possible that you are committed to that world class economy that will bring benefits to all West Midlands citizens. Such a political stance would no doubt lead the way and encourage other employers in the Region to follow.
I will be publishing this letter through local media to demonstrate to your electorate that the TUC is already positioning itself to work with whoever is elected to raise the standards of the West Midlands so that devolution has a positive impact on local communities. Your commitment to the Living Wage could be the start of that and I hope that you will respond to this letter and confirm your position that you will commit to the Living Wage. This is a real opportunity to create the largest Living Wage region in the UK and with the political will and ambition it can be done.
I look forward to hearing from you.