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Campaign for a living wage
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TAKE ACTION for a living wage with JustPay!

Matilda Lee

4th May, 2011

The new JustPay! campaign is asking investors and individuals alike to activate their money and demand that support staff, such as cleaners, at the UK's top corporations are ensured a Living Wage

If the excessive pay of some corporate execs makes your blood boil, then you should be concerned about the UK's equally vexing problem of low pay. 3.5 million working adults aged over 22 were earning less than £7 an hour in 2010. Two thirds of these were women. Low pay is closely associated with social disadvantages including poor health, substandard housing and personal debt.

A Living Wage is the minimum hourly wage necessary for a decent life - to afford housing, food and other basic needs. A Living Wage allows working people to make time for family and community in a way that is not guaranteed on the National Minimum Wage. Within London, the Mayor's Office announces the Living Wage figure each year - this week it was raised to £8.30 an hour. Outside London, the Living Wage for the regions is £7.20.

A Living Wage is particularly important for employees of contracted-out services such as cleaning and other support staff.

A 10-year campaign by London Citizens has resulted in more than 100 businesses and other organisations signing up to be Living Wage employers - including big banks such as Barclays and HSBC. However, many of the UK's biggest companies on the stock exchange, the FTSE 100, are lagging behind.

FairPensions' new campaign, expanding on London Citizens efforts, aims to change this: targeting the FTSE 100 companies it aims to embed the Living Wage in the UK's private sector. The campaign aims to secure the support of major investors including pension funds and City fund managers as lead activist investors. On May 2nd, a coalition of investors worth over £13 billion wrote jointly signed letters to the CEO's of each FTSE 100 company asking for Living Wage standards to be applied.

Each of us as individuals also need to make a difference.

Together we hold billions of pounds through our bank accounts, ISAs, pensions and even insurance policies. This gives us the power to positively influence some of the biggest companies in the world.

TAKE ACTION: Activate your money! Email the finance companies that you are a customer of (whether it's your bank account or pension provider or mortgage broker, etc.) to ask them to become a Living Wage employer.

Click here to email the companies you are a customer of to ask them about their Living Wage policies.


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