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10,000 back Richard Burgon’s call to Defend the Minimum Wage during Furlough

“It’s called the minimum wage for a reason – the Government needs to do the right thing and act to ensure nobody is paid less than it.”

Richard Burgon MP

By the Labour Assembly Against Austerity Team

A petition to the Government brought by Leeds MP Richard Burgon, which calls for no furloughed workers to be paid less than the minimum wage has now gathered over 10,000 signatures.

Workers on furlough are currently paid just 80% of their previous salary, which for many of the lowest-paid workers means their income falls below the minimum wage.

Official figures show that over two million workers are now paid less than the National Minimum Wage this year – up five-fold on 2019.

Commenting on the campaign reaching this milestone, Richard Burgon said “Hundreds of thousands of people across the country are being pushed further into poverty because the Government refuses to make sure no worker on furlough gets less than the minimum wage. I’m pleased that over ten thousand people have backed my campaign to fix this problem – but I’m frustrated that it has come to this.”

He added that, “It’s called the minimum wage for a reason – the Government needs to do the right thing and act to ensure nobody is paid less than it.”

Train drivers’ union ASLEF have also backed Richard’s campaign, asking their members to contact their MP and ask them to support the Parliamentary Motion that Richard has put down calling on the Government to address this.

Richard’s Parliamentary Motion in support of this campaign has been signed by 32 MPs from 5 parties and calls on the Government to “introduce a floor in the furlough scheme to ensure that no worker is paid less than the National Minimum Wage.”

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that over two million workers have been paid less than the National Minimum Wage this year, nearly five times as many as in 2019.

Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/the-government-stop-workers-being-paid-less-than-the-national-minimum-wage-during-this-pandemic

The full petition reads:

No-one should ever be paid less than the National Minimum Wage.

But the government’s furlough scheme is leaving millions of low-paid workers on less than this basic minimum pay.

New official figures show that over 2 million workers have been paid less than the National Minimum Wage this year. That’s nearly five times as many as in 2019.

This crisis shouldn’t be paid for on the backs of low paid workers.

So we are calling on the Government to introduce a wage floor in the furlough scheme to make sure that no worker gets paid less than the National Minimum Wage.

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