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Pay in working class jobs

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
A new deal for workers

This is the first of a series of reports looking at working class experiences in today’s labour market.

It shows that for too many people in working class jobs, the last decade has been one of pay stagnation.

We also know that job insecurity and work intensity have risen. TUC analysis shows that one in nine workers, 3.7 million people are now in insecure jobs.[5] And millions of people are putting in extra hours without getting paid - UK workers gave their employers £32 billion of free labour last year - a staggering total of two billion unpaid hours.[6]

We know that when workers are able to raise our voice in the workplace through our unions we can win better pay: the union pay premium is £1.14 per hour (8 per cent). That's one reason why trade union membership rose by 100,000 between 2017 and 2018.

But to make sure that working class people get the decent jobs and prospects they deserve we need a new deal for workers. We're calling for:

  • The rate for the job and fair pay for everyone
  • New rights so that workers can be protected by a union in every workplace, and when we use social media, so that nobody has to face their employer alone
  • New rights for workers to bargain through our unions for fair pay and conditions across industries, ending the race to the bottom
  •  A £10 an hour national minimum wage and an end to discrimination against young workers
  • Workers to be elected onto remuneration committees to help curb greed at the top
  • Legal requirements on employers to report on and act to close race, gender and disability pay gaps
  • Support for the genuinely self-employed while calling for a ban on zero hours contracts and false self-employment
  • A right to reasonable notice of your shifts, and payment if your shifts are cancelled
  • A move to a shorter working time with no loss of pay, starting with four new bank holidays a year, and setting an ambition for a four-day week
  • A right to positive flexible working from day one of your job, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis
  • A decent floor of rights for all workers and the return of protection from unfair dismissal to millions of working people.