GMB London Young Members receive Merit Award from London Labour

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Joe Dharampal-Hornby, Chair of GMB London Young Workers, said:

"We are very proud to have received a Merit Award at London Labour Conference, recognising our priority campaign, A Living Wage For All: Demand Fair Pay.

“Last year, a survey of our members found that 54% felt that their pay was not fair and relative to similar roles and individuals performing their role.

“A staggering 99% were worried about the cost-of-living crisis. It is deeply unfair that any worker should be paid less than they can reasonably live on. It is completely unacceptable that young workers are often paid even less than that. So, our campaign has called for: all employers to pay a genuine Living Wage – currently £11.95/hour in London; young workers to be treated and paid equally; and for the government to legislate for a universal, genuine Living Wage. 

“Kicking off our campaign, we secured unanimous support for our motion at TUC Young Workers Conference and highlighted the campaign at the TUC’s ‘Enough is Enough’ rally last summer. Since then, we have organised a ‘Night of Action’, raising awareness of the issues with members of the public in Soho, where incidentally, so many service industry staff are young and paid below the real Living Wage. We were delighted to be joined by London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, who is a brilliant supporter of the campaign.

“We have also highlighted the issue on social media and provided template letters for our members to lobby their local councillors and MPs. We held a drop-in session followed by a panel event in parliament, with many London MPs signing up to support our campaign. We were delighted to be joined by Feryal Clark, MP for Enfield North, Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea, Gail Irvine of the Living Wage Foundation, Lisa Bangs of GMB London Region, as well as Assembly Members Marina Ahmed and Anne Clarke. 

“Throughout our campaign, we’ve been pleased to welcome members from other trade unions as well as GMB Southern region, because – of course, unfair pay affects young workers across the country. We’re very grateful for the Merit Award and look forward to progressing our campaign and welcoming new members to our movement in 2023 and beyond.

Hilda Tavolara, GMB Lodnon Region Equality Officer said:

“Since the relaunch of GMB London Young Workers in November 2021, this self-organised group have successfully built active participation of young members in GMB, within their workplaces, branches, and constituencies.  They have raised awareness of the issues facing the younger generation caused by low pay and the cost of living.  GMB Young Members launched their priority campaign “A Living Wage for All, Young Workers Demand Fair Pay” to challenge discrimination and inequality in pay.

“The group is an inspirational collective, focusing on the real necessity of change toward an improved quality of life for people under 30.”