I had an e-mail from Nick Wall, a GMB member and political activist from Merseyside, arrive into my inbox the other day.
It's a petition to number ten, campaigning for a living wage. Here's the link to the petition.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to take steps to replace the national minimum wage with a living wage based on the level of pay and conditions that enables a full-time worker to make ends meet for themselves and their family.
Here's a few meaty bits from the e-mail:
The living wage is an idea whose time has come. There should be no excuses in a strong economy like ours not to pay workers enough to live on. My petition is only a small step in what is likely to be a long campaign. I am excited by the work that has been done in cities like Oxford to establish local living wage campaigns outside of London, and I hope to see many more such campaigns develop in the months and years ahead. All these campaigns are run in partnership with trade unions, and do not undermine trade union campaigns to raise the level of the national minimum wage. The living wage can make a real difference to the lives of many poor families - last month living wage campaigners won a victory when Barclays agreed to bump up the pay of about 1,000 London cleaners and other ancillary staff employed by outside contractors to a living wage of £7.50 an hour.
There's a blog set up to follow this campaign here.
What people are saying, Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP:
British people work some of the longest hours in Europe yet 7 out of 10 people working over 48 hours per week say they would like to work fewer hours. For many however this is impossible as they simply cannnot afford to do so. It is currently possible for someone to work more than 60 hours a week and still be paid less than £11,000 per year. The number of people living below the poverty line in the UK is higher than the EU average and continues to increase. The long hours culture is endangering our health and acting as a detriment to our family life. We can't have a culture that says you can not rest. We need a national living wage immediately to ensure this changes and everyone can make ends meet without working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Richard Bertin, Labour Party Councillor (Vale of Glamorgan):
Yes we have now thankfully got the minimum wage, and yes it is helping thousands of low paid workers. But with the economy doing so well there are repercussions one of which is the rising house prices.
Unfortunately, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow and this needs to be addressed now! - How? By rightly establishing a national living wage to ensure that we improve the lives of those on
low pay and also do our bit to remove poverty from the 4th largest economy in the world - Great Britain. We need a living wage and we need it now!
I'd like to ask all my UK readers to consider signing this petition. Thanks.