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Rising inflation to ‘hammer’ pay packets of frontline workers, TUC warns

·2-min read

Unions called for restraint on company profits, not pay, as soaring inflation is set to fuel calls for higher wage rises to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Unions pointed to the 11.8% RPI figure as evidence of how much prices are rising, saying that is in stark contrast to pay rises, such as those announced for public sector workers on Tuesday.

The TUC warned rising inflation is going to “hammer” the pay packets of frontline workers.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said “Workers have had the spring, summer, autumn and winter of discontent for years. We now have record inflation to match record temperatures.

“Average pay is now falling at the fastest rate in 20 years. Unite will not stand by and let workers take the hit for a crisis not of their making.”

Unite said its latest investigation showed where the blame lies for the real causes of current inflation – “and it’s not workers’ wages”.

Ms Graham added: “The Government and corporate UK are scapegoating workers, trying to blame them for record rising prices, but it’s not workers’ wages driving inflation, it’s relentless corporate profiteering. It’s time we started talking about that.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Families are under immense pressure as food and energy costs soar, and companies raise prices much faster than wages.

“We need profit restraint and pay rises that keep up with prices. And the Government must play its part with decent pay rises for public servants.

“If we do not do more to get pay rising, struggling workers will cut back their spending. Businesses will suffer, and we risk entering a recession.”

An analysis by the TUC showed hospital porters’ real wages will be down by £200 this year, maternity care assistants by £600, nurses by £1,100, and paramedics by more than £1,500.

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Wages are falling at their fastest rate for two decades while inflation is through the roof.

“Ministers and commentators say workers cannot demand pay rises due to inflationary pressures. Inflation is rising not because of workers’ wage demands but by inflated big business profits and by a number of international economic shocks.

“Suppression of wages has allowed companies to keep their profit margins high, with the UK never having more billionaires.

“There is no cost-of-living crisis for the rich in Britain and RMT along with other unions will not meekly accept pay freezes.

“Britain deserves a pay rise and we will pursue our national rail dispute with a resolute determination to make sure we agree a negotiated settlement.”

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