Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Business lobbies for workers

In the USA, it's seems inevitable that calls for a higher minimum wage come from labor interests and resistance to the idea comes from business interests.

So, what should we make of the UK's biggest business lobby advocating higher wages? Or, is this just journalists emphasizing the unusual part of a conventional message?

CBI: Firms must pay workers more as economy improves
The head of the UK's main business lobby group has said too many people are "stuck" in minimum wage jobs, despite an upturn in the UK economy.

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said businesses should deliver "better pay and more opportunities" for their employees.
He told the BBC: "If we get productivity going, we are creating more wealth, and we can share it."

Recovery should be sustainable before wages increased, he said…

In his annual new year's message, Mr Cridland said despite economic growth, there were "still far too many people stuck in minimum wage jobs without routes to progression, and that's a serious challenge that businesses and the government must address."

Mr Cridland said businesses must support employees in "every part of the country" to progress in their careers and help young people get their first jobs…

Meanwhile...

Ed Miliband in new year cost of living pledge
Labour has a "credible and affordable" plan to help families struggling with the cost of living, Ed Miliband has insisted in his new year message.

The opposition leader said the issue of living standards would again be his focus in 2014, accusing ministers of wanting to "change the conversation"…

Labour says the UK is still in middle of the "biggest cost-of-living crisis in a generation" and, with prices rising faster than wages for most people, the majority continue to feel worse off…

While he was not promising people "easy answers", Mr Miliband said Labour's plan to freeze energy bills for 20 months from June 2015, expand free childcare and crack down on payday lenders would "tip the balance towards hope" for many families struggling in the current climate.

"People do not want the Earth. They would prefer some very specific promises, specific things about what a government will do," he added.

"All of this is adding up to a programme for how we can change things. It is clearly costed, credible and real."…

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