Tens of thousands of people from across the UK will come to London today (Saturday) to take part in Britain Needs a Pay Rise – the TUC-organised march and rally calling for an economic recovery for all, not just the wealthy.
The march sets off from Embankment at approximately midday. It goes along Northumberland Avenue, across Trafalgar Square, along Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, and then along Piccadilly to Hyde Park Corner, where it will enter the Park.
The rally in Hyde Park starts at approximately 1.15pm. Comperes include Mock the Week’s Andy Parsons, and writer and broadcaster Amy Lamé. Speakers at the rally include TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, union leaders, and Harry Smith (a 91-year-old WWII veteran and author of Harry’s Last Stand). The rally will finish at around 4pm.
People are facing the biggest squeeze on their incomes since Victorian times, and TUC analysis this week shows that average wages have fallen by £50 a week in real terms since 2008. As growth returns, it seems only fair that everyone should get to share in the recovery, says the TUC.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Today tens of thousands of people will join the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise march.
“Our message is that after the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history, it’s time to end the lock-out that has kept the vast majority from sharing in the economic recovery.
“The average worker is £50 a week worse off than in 2007 and five million earn less than the living wage. Meanwhile, top directors now earn 175 times more than the average worker.
“If politicians wonder why so many feel excluded from the democratic process, they should start with bread and butter living standards.
“An economy that finds money for tax cuts for the rich and boardroom greed, while the rest face a pay squeeze and big cuts to the welfare system –that any of us might need – is no longer working for the many.”
The march will assemble on the Blackfriars end of Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the Thames from 11am. Marchers are being encouraged to join from the back, and the advice is to use a range of tube stations – Blackfriars, Southwark or St Paul’s – to avoid a crush at Embankment, Westminster or Temple tube stations.
As the Embankment fills up, marchers arriving from the front are likely to be diverted by other streets – such as the Strand – to the rear of the march.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- For more information on the official Britain Needs a Pay Rise website go to http://britainneedsapayrise.org/ and the twitter hashtag for the day is #18Oct
- For a map of the route, visit http://britainneedsapayrise.org/march-logistics/march-route/
- There will be a pay-themed media photo opportunity at 11.15am on the Embankment – just west of Hungerford Bridge at the junction with Northumberland Avenue, at the Britain Needs a Pay Rise branded open-topped bus. The photo op features a stilt walker dressed as a top executive, who now earns 175 times the wages of the average worker. Frances O’Grady, and workers who are facing the longest wage squeeze since records began, will be holding giant representations of the numbers 175. Pictures can either be taken at ground level or from the top of the bus.
- There will then be an opportunity to photograph and film the front of the march (in the same location) at around 11.40am. At the head of the march will be a five metre high, inflated Britain Needs a Pay Rise ‘star’ logo.
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
Clare Santry T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: email@example.com