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Minimum wage must rise as planned, warns TUC General Secretary

14 September 2020

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady urged the government to extend the national minimum wage in April as planned during her keynote address to the 2020 trade union congress, held virtually for the first time.

'Hard work should pay for everyone, no matter who you are or what kind of job you do,' she said.

Reports have recently circulated that chancellor Rishi Sunak might not introduce the planned rise from £8.72 to £9.21 per hour in April, as a result of economic damage caused by the pandemic. When questioned, 10 Downing Street refused to confirm that the increase would go ahead as planned.

A U-turn on the planned increase would be a disappointment for some of the UK's lowest paid seafarers who will benefit from a national minimum wage when it comes into force for vessels engaged in UK waters

Ms O’Grady was keen for the rumours to be put to bed stating that: 'Key workers have shown courage and dedication [during the pandemic]. That's real civic duty. Now it's time for government and employers to repay that debt.'

The speech, broadcast online to tens of thousands of trade unionists, also focussed on the black lives matter movement, workplace safety and a call for an extension to the furlough scheme.


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