Wages fall sharply in Gloucestershire
WAGES in Gloucestershire have fallen by six per cent since 2007, with men losing £40.14 a week, and women losing £15.04, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The figures show that in 2007 the average hourly pay in the county, in 2012 prices, was £12.02.
That has now fallen to an average of £11.39, with men seeing a drop from £13.63 to £12.82 and from £10.33 to £9.95 for women.
Regional secretary for the South West TUC, Nigel Costley, said families across the county were struggling to make their money go far enough and are often having to go into debt.
"With real wages still falling, most people are being forced to use their credit cards or their dwindling savings if they need to purchase anything beyond the most everyday of items," he said.
"Workers’ real hourly pay rates have taken a hit over the past five years because wages have failed to keep up with inflation. But this fall is also a result of the worrying increase in insecure and short-hours employment.
"In many cases when people have lost their jobs, and are fortunate enough to find work, they are forced to take jobs with fewer hours and on lower rates of pay."
The South West TUC is campaigning to see a properly enforced minimum wage and higher minimum wages for employers who can afford to pay more, as well as an increased commitment to the living wage.
The group would also like to see a crackdown on excessive executive pay.
Stroud Labour Parliamentary candidate David Drew said he backed the call by the TUC to give agency workers equal pay.
"The Temporary Agency Workers Directive was introduced in the UK in 2011 to give equal treatment to agency workers, but evidence has emerged that some agency workers are receiving up to £135 per week less that their permanent staff colleagues," he said.
"This cannot be right or fair for families struggling with increasing living costs. It is time the Government implemented this legislation across all kinds of work, including agency work.
"The legislation may be complex but that doesn’t excuse the Government from implementing it in full. It is happy to give tax cuts to millionaires but can’t support hard working people who are financially penalised for working for an agency."
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