Monday, 9 February 2009

A Living Wage for Lambeth

Lambeth's Green Party councillor, Becca Thackray, has successfully passed a motion to commit the London Borough of Lambeth to paying a ‘Living Wage’ for all its employees.

However, a wrecking amendment put forward by Labour means that the Council can continue underpaying hundreds of staff who work for the Borough as contractors. These include cleaners, security/reception staff and labourers, many of whom are paid much less than regular Council staff.

The original motion stated that, "Lambeth Council reaffirms its support for the establishment of the London Living Wage, set at a level calculated by the Living Wage Unit to avoid the 'working poverty trap' in the capital, a situation affecting around 400,000 Londoners who are paid less than can reasonably fund the basic costs of living in London."

By watering the motion down, Labour have let down precisely those working people who they claim to represent. Their rhetoric about helping the people of Lambeth get through the recession will sound particularly hollow to those earning poverty wages on Labour-run Lambeth contracts.

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