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Young unionists demand equal pay for all ages

by JOHN MILLINGTON

WORKERS should be paid the same statutory minimum wage regardless of age, Usdaw activists agreed yesterday.

Young delegates took to the stage at the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers conference to put the case for equal pay for equal work.

The statutory pay scale currently stands at £6.31 an hour for people 21 years and over, £5.03 for 18 to 20-year-olds and under-18s are on a paltry £3.72.  

Moving the successful motion, first-time speaker and Humberside delegate Demelza France said: “I believe if two people have the same job description they should be paid the same wage, whether they are 19 or 21.”

She said the union should promote equal pay regardless of age, in the same way that other equality issues are handled.

Ms France added: “We should be giving young people support and showing them as a union that we care. We need to stop employers exploiting younger workers.”

Seconding the motion, North East Kent delegate Wendy Temple said: 

“It is not fair that we are expected to work the same hours in the same job for less pay.”

“I have a friend who is 19 who has to take a second job because of the money she is missing out on. So I say, equal pay for work.”

The Labour government of 1997 introduced the national minimum wage in 1999.

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