Thousands turn out for ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’ in London (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The march is mapped through London and will end with a rally in Hyde Park. The TUC says at least 80,000 people are taking part; police have not released their estimates yet.
There will also be marches in Glasgow and Belfast. The protesters are demanding an increase of wages and their fair share in the economic recovery they can see some people enjoying.
“People have been experiencing real cuts in their pay now for years,” a protester told RT. “And people are just fed up. They’ve had enough. They can’t cope and pay the bills when wages are being cut. And also they’re angry. They can see people at the top doing very well.”
— Unite the union (@unitetheunion) October 18, 2014
"Our message is that after the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history, it's time to end the lock-out that has kept the vast majority from sharing in the economic recovery," said Frances O'Grady the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), a federation of the country's main trade unions.
The TUC started a vast promotional campaign with ads in social networks, Twitter and YouTube; the unions are demanding higher minimum wages, an increased commitment to the living wage and curbs on excessive executive pay.
“The average worker is £50 a week worse off than in 2007 and five million earn less than the living wage. Meanwhile, top directors now earn 175 times more than the average worker,” O’Grady said.
The New Economics Foundation reports that households had experienced a 15 percent decline in their real incomes over the last year, while the Institute for Policy Research reported that wages had failed to keep pace with inflation since 2008.
'Britain needs a Pay Rise' - GMB leading from the front. pic.twitter.com/KfOh1flkv2
— GMB NW & I (@unionpeople) October 18, 2014
“If politicians wonder why so many feel excluded from the democratic process, they should start with bread and butter living standards,” Frances O'Grady said. “An economy that finds money for tax cuts for the rich and boardroom greed, while the rest face a pay squeeze and big cuts to the welfare system –that any of us might need – is no longer working for the many.”
— Emma Cameron (@EmmaCameron9) 18 октября 2014