Branch Secretary : info@housingworkers.org.uk
  

Inflation hits 7.5% with more price rises to come

“Unless employers pay up and wages rise significantly, soaring inflation, including mounting energy costs, will create a cost of living catastrophe for workers. Anything less than a pay rise that meets food, fuel & energy bills is a wage cut.”

 

As CPI climbs to 5.4%, Unite chief demands significant wage rises to combat ‘cost of living catastrophe’  Unite says real scale of crisis is revealed in RPI rise to 7.5 per cent - a more accurate figure of rising costs.

 

Unite reps in housing will meet on zoom on Thursday February 10th on zoom – contact the branch for details. This follows a serious discussion at our last branch meeting when members expressed concern at wages falling behind prices for many years and concern at the ‘cost of living crisis’ ahead. Unite today issued the statement below.

 

50% hike in energy prices

 

Unite believes today’s inflation figures are a stark warning of the scale of the cost of living crisis that is confronting workers. The likely 50% hike in the energy cap in April will make matters even worse. Neither government nor employers can stand by and do nothing.

 

 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unless employers pay up and wages rise significantly, soaring inflation, including mounting energy costs, will create a cost of living catastrophe for workers. Anything less than a pay rise that meets soaring food, fuel and energy bills is a wage cut. Unite will make sure that those that can pay, do pay. Workers cannot pay the price for the pandemic.”

 

Jiggery pokery

 

Unite bases wage claims on the RPI, rather than CPI. RPI includes housing costs and better reflects the actual price rises experienced by Unite members. The government has effectively already abandoned RPI in favour of the lesser measure of CPI. 

 

Given this ‘‘jiggery-pokery”, Unite is building a department of specialists whose duties will include creating the Unite Bargaining Index. The Unite BI will track all real living costs and assess the ability to pay of employers - it will become the union's benchmark measure in all wage and pension negotiations.

 

Sharon Graham added: “Frankly, we are fed up of the government’s jiggery-pokery on the cost of living index. So we will be appointing the necessary experts to produce our own working index for inflation - the Unite Bargaining Index. Workers can no longer afford to allow the government to force them to take what amounts to pay cuts based on ‘gerrymandered’ government statistics. We’ve put up with that for too long.”

 

19 January 2022

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