About bloody time

13 Dec

At Monday’s meeting Newham Council passed a motion which, after a lengthy preamble, concluded

this Council commits to become an accredited Living Wage & Unison Ethical Care Charter Employer in the next financial year, ensuring that all directly employed staff, and all staff employed by contractors who work for Newham Council receive at least the London Living Wage.

This was followed by a lot of self-congratulatory tweeting

Mas Patel:


SUCCESS: Our people’s motion that @NewhamLondon become a #LivingWage borough has just been passed unanimously by Newham Cllrs.

We WILL become an accredited @LivingWageUK borough. Great work by @GMBLondonRegion, @NewhamCitizens, @telcocitizens & @fgslabour members!

Huge thanks to all at @GMB_union @GMBLondonRegion for your invaluable help. @NewhamLondon workers will get the #LivingWage thanks to the #PeoplesMotion

Rohit Das Gupta:

By becoming a living wage employer and its binding plan to implementation the council will be joining our neighbouring east London boroughs in a commitment to putting the scourge of economic injustice and inequality at the heart of our campaigning #LivingWage

Pushpa Makwana:

Mayor of Newham @rokhsanafiaz announces @NewhamLondon commitment to be an accredited London Living Wage employer. A fair wage for a fair day’s work. Xmas pay for underpaid staff.

Of course, it really is good news and worth celebrating.

But you have to wonder why it has taken a 100% Labour council so long to get round to doing it. The accredited living wage employer scheme has been running since 2011. And in 2013 Ed Miliband spoke at Newham Dockside, calling for central and local government to challenge low pay and enforce a living wage with contractors.

Sadly, the “Labour” administration at the time wasn’t interested. And no-one on the back benches dared to challenge them.

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