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Union help for low paid to survive; Inside View IN ASSOCIATION WITH BARCLAYS.

Byline: Roger McKenzie

WHEN I was just starting out in my working life, one of the earliest unions I joined was the National Union of Public Employees.

NUPE, now a part of Unison, was well known for being unapologetic for standing up for low paid workers in the public sector.

However, one of their most fundamental policies was to campaign to secure a statutory national minimum wage, a measure which would reach all sectors of the economy.

The Labour Government of 1997 introduced the minimum wage to move many hundreds of thousands of workers out of poverty wages.

The approximately 100,000 workers across the West Midlands who will benefit when the national minimum wage (NMW) increases to pounds 5.73 per hour today have NUPE and other unions to thank for this help.

They certainly have no cause to thank those doomsayers in business and the Conservative Party who continue to predict the end of the world because low paid workers might find it a little easier to survive.

Roger McKenzie is regional secretary of the Midlands TUC.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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