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Saturday, December 3, 2016
Faith groups demand living wage for workers
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¬†Moslems, Hindus and Christians from East London launched their campaign to demand a living wage for Londoners last week. More than 1,300 delegates from TELCO, The East London Community Organisation, representing local churches, temples, mosques and other community groups, attended the rally at Walthamstow Assembly Hall on Thursday. The Anglican Bishop of Barking, Roger Sainsbury and the Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, Thomas MacMahon, were among religious leaders attending the event. The General Secretary of the Trades Union Conference, John Monks, who is a Catholic, also took part. Currently the legal 'minimum wage' is just £3.70 an hour - the same in London as it is in Liverpool, where the cost of living is much lower. TELCO is calling for a legal minimum wage of at least £5 per hour. In December, TELCO planners unveiled their campaign strategy. Over the past three months, groups and parishes have been carrying out surveys to discover what people are earning. Preliminary results indicate that pay and conditions have dropped considerably over the last few years. The survey has shown a relationship between companies contracting out jobs to the private sector and lower wages. The rally heard several of those surveyed, who were earning the legal minimum wage, testify that they were barely able to manage and certainly could not afford 'luxuries' like new clothes for their children or holidays. Public sector trade union Unison has joined forces with TELCO in the campaign. For the first phase the union has asked the Family Budget Unit of Kings College, London, to conduct a survey on the cost of bringing up a family in London. TELCO is one of several community groups around the country which started up about six years ago, and are based on an America model, COF - Citizen Organising Foundation. Cardinal Hume attended their inaugural meeting. Bishop Cormac Murphy O'Connor is now a member, and hosts TELCO's sponsoring group of London's key religious and business leaders. They have pledged to raise one million pounds over the next five years to support TELCO. (For other other stories about TELCO use our search facility, or visit their website through the links page)
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