Unions blast economy that benefits wealthy in reaction to inflation rise

'Workers have no choice but to fight for better wages'


Unions have blasted the government’s economic policy that benefits the wealthy and say there is ‘no end in sight’ to cost-of-living crisis, in react to the surprise jump in inflation.  

UK inflation figures released today have shown CPI rising to 10.4% and RPI rising to 13.8% last month, with the jump attributed to vegetable shortages, pushing food prices to their highest for 45 years.

Unions have reacted by calling for an economy that rewards work not wealth and saying workers have been left with no choice but to fight for better wages.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) called out the government for failing to prioritise support for families against the cost-of-living crisis in the Spring Budget last week.  

Paul Nowak, General Secretary of the TUC, said the country needed a comprehensive plan to build an economy that doesn’t prioritise the wealthy.

“Families are still under massive pressure from the rising cost of living, with food prices rising especially fast. But they got next to no help from last week’s budget,” said Nowak.

“We need a comprehensive plan to get wages rising across the economy, and to boost social security. That’s how we build an economy that rewards work not wealth.”

Unite the Union has said the latest inflation figures show there is ‘no end in sight’ to the cost-of-living crisis, which leaves workers with no choice by to fight for better wages.

Recent research by the union revealed profits for Britain’s biggest firms in the first half of 2022 were 89% higher compared to the same period in 2019. The union said their research shows that profits are responsible for propelling inflation.

In the UK, supermarket companies have boasted huge profit gains, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda making combined profits of £3.2 billion in 2021, nearly double pre-pandemic levels.

Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary, said people were sick of seeing the rich get richer whilst their income is stretched further.

 Sharon Graham said: “Inflation is back on the rise and workers continue to be hammered by high prices.

“Unite’s own research shows that it’s profits propelling inflation, while workers’ wages struggle to keep up. It’s no wonder workers are struggling with rising food prices.

“There’s no end in sight to the cost of living crisis and people are sick of seeing their budgets get stretched thinner and thinner every month while big business racks up record profits. Unite’s ongoing fight to win better jobs, pay and conditions continues.”

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: Creative Commons / Flickr)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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