‘We deserve a pay rise’ – Sheffield workers to march for a £10 minimum wage

Sheffield workers, who are some of the lowest paid in the country, will campaign for the national minimum wage to be raised to £10 per hour at a city centre march next Saturday.

The campaign is being organised by trade unions in Sheffield, including Unite, GMB and the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).

Gareth Lane, Community Organiser for BFAWU, who have been gaining support for the campaign through Twitter and Facebook, said: “Sheffield is actually one of the lowest paid cities in the country with workers here on average getting paid £50 a week less than the national average, so we think it’s about time we had a pay rise.

“We believe £10 an hour is the least that you need to survive on,” he said.

According to Mr Lane, some people in the city with full-time jobs are struggling to feed their children and some can’t afford to put the gas on.

“People who are working full time should have a decent standard of living,” he said.

The march is being held to organise a collective response to low pay in the city and to apply pressure on politicians for support.

It will begin at Devonshire Green at 1pm on 17th December.

Speakers taking part include the Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh. Also, workers from companies including ASOS and Wetherspoons will be speaking about their personal experiences of surviving on a low wage.

Mr Lane believes that Sheffield’s wage problem is down to the levels of unemployment in the city, which big companies take advantage of by offering low pay.

“A lot of these companies make huge profits yet workers are not seeing the benefits of those profits,” he said.

“We’re asking for a fair share of that pie.”

A preparatory meeting will take place on Tuesday at 7pm at the Central United Reform Church opposite the Crucible Theatre.

BFAWU are calling on low paid workers or people that have sympathy with them to support the campaign.