United Kingdom -Growing gap between rich and poor -November 23, 2011

Growing discontent about the gulf between rich and poor was underlined on Wednesday 23 November by official figures showing the gap between Britain's highest and lowest paid workers has widened dramatically over 2011. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that workers in the worst paid jobs – such as dinner ladies, hairdressers and waiters – have seen their pay fall sharply in real terms, fanning fears about families' ability to cope with soaring food and energy bills. The bottom tenth of earners saw their pay creep up just 0.1% between 2010 and 2011 while the top tenth saw their pay grow 18 times faster. The number of people being paid less than the national minimum wage of UKP 6.08 rose in 2010 and there was a big divergence in earnings between London and the rest of the country, according to the ONS annual survey of earnings. However, there was a slight narrowing in the gender pay gap. Overall pay growth for UK workers hit a record low. Pay was up just 0.4% on a year ago in terms of gross weekly earnings, meaning that incomes are tumbling in real terms given that inflation stands at 5%.

English: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov/23/pay-gap-rich-poor-widens


This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) M.vanKlaveren@uva.nl. or the communications officer of the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova mnikolova@etui.org. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org, and on the AIAS at www.uva-aias.net. © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.

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