Workers still paying for 2008 crash says GMB

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Workers demonstrate outside the Bank of England in 2009 – they are still paying the price for the bankers’ crash
Workers demonstrate outside the Bank of England in 2009 – they are still paying the price for the bankers’ crash

‘SINCE the great crash of 2007/8 the twin features of inflation of 27% and little or no pay rises have taken a heavy toll on the real value of average earnings for workers in London,’ said Warren Kenny, GMB London regional secretary, yesterday.

He continued: ‘For 33 occupations, the real value of average earnings is down by between 20% and 54%. For 117 occupations the real value of average earnings is down by between 0.1% and 20%. Only for 19 occupations have earnings kept pace with inflation and grown.’

Kenny added: ‘Politicians and commentators have been quick to attack workers taking strike action to secure pay rises and demanding curbs on the right to strike. These figures should give them reasons to pause to consider the extent to which ordinary families doing the jobs to keep society functioning have borne the brunt of the crash. These workers deserve our support and need long overdue pay rises.’

The GMB analysis shows that the real value of earnings for full-time workers in all groups in the UK are still 12.6% below 2007 levels. The real value of earnings for full-time workers in the caring, leisure and other service occupations group of jobs in UK is still 14.3% below its value in 2007. This is the major occupational group that has fared the worst since 2007.

Jobs in this main occupational group include care workers and home carers, senior care workers, nursery nurses and assistants, childminders, playworkers, teaching assistants and educational support assistants, veterinary nurses, pest control officers, nursing auxiliaries and assistants, ambulance staff (excluding paramedics), dental nurses, houseparents and residential wardens, care escorts, undertakers and mortuary and crematorium assistants.

In a more detailed analysis for occupations that are over 20% below 2007 levels, collector salespersons have seen their real-terms annual pay drop by 54% compared with equivalent pay in 2007, ophthalmic opticians have seen a 40.4% drop, finance analysts 39.8%, energy plant operatives 37.6, coal mine operatives 36%, artists 33.5% and conservation and environmental protection officers 30.8%.

Of the 169 occupations, where comparisons can be made between 2007 and 2016, 33 are between 20% and 54% below 2007 levels and a further 117 are between 0% and 20% below. Average pay fell by between £2,000 and £20,000 a year.