Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has argued that the city needs a pay rise, following new research which shows an estimated 58,000 thousand Glaswegians are paid less than the living wage.
Ms McTaggart said that the figures from accountancy firm KPMG should act as a wake-up call for politicians, showing that the fight for fair pay is far from over.
The Glasgow MSP is a passionate campaigner for the living wage, and supported extending it to staff on public contracts earlier this year, only to see the SNP vote with the Tories to block the move.
Ms McTaggart believes that for the living wage to make a difference to people in Glasgow it must be promoted in low paid professions such as cleaning, hospitality and retail.
She is backing plans to establish a Living Wage Unit and a National Living Wage Strategy which will be accountable to the Scottish Parliament. The strategy will target specific job markets and areas to deliver a pay rise in jobs where it will make a real difference so that the living wage is the expectation, not the exception.
Anne McTaggart said “It is time to get serious about better pay for workers in Glasgow, and across Scotland.
“Hundreds of thousands of Scots are living in working poverty. An estimated 58,000 thousand workers in Glasgow are earning less than the living wage.
“The hospitality and retail industries employ thousands of people in dire need of a pay rise. A National Living Wage Strategy would be able to target and work with these industries to delver a pay rise to workers who need it the most.
“The SNP were wrong to vote against the living wage, but I hope they see sense and work with Scottish Labour to help deliver better pay for workers across Scotland.
“Campaigners across Scotland got plenty of experience this summer arguing for what they believe in. I believe in better pay and conditions for working people in Glasgow and across Scotland. Promoting the living wage where it will make a difference is a step towards a better nation. It is time to make work pay.”
Scottish Labour Low Pay Action Plan
- Establish a Living Wage Unit to promote the living wage in the private sector.
- Establish a National Living Wage Strategy to be laid before each Parliament.
- Extend the living wage to public contracts
- Make work pay contracts which will see a £1,000 rebate to companies who pay the living wage
- Increase the minimum wage to £8 by 2020
- Ban the use of exploitative zero hours contracts
|Table 1: Industries with the lowest median hourly rate excluding overtime in Scotland||Median hourly pay (£) (excluding over time)||Number of Jobs (‘000)|
|Food and beverage service activities||6.42||72|
|Gambling and betting activities||7.09||8|
|Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles||7.28||182|
|Services to buildings and landscape activities||7.57||34|