Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 July 2007

Boost our pay

Organising for our rights at work

"Which is the first generation that will have to work to 68 before becoming eligible for a state pension? Those born after 1978. Which was the first generation to bear the full brunt of student tuition fees? Again it is the 1980s children... evidence suggests... a degree costs more and yields less... Few 80s children yet own a property and their financial prospects have been devastated by the rampant rise in property prices." This is from an article by the Financial Times economic editor, himself 'a teenager in the 1980s'.

Ben Robinson International Socialist Resistance national co-ordinator

This can't go on. Young people's rights have faced attack after attack. Young people are going to have to stand up and fight. This was how workers won gains in the past, and it is the same today.

The Boost Our Pay campaign has been launched to fight for better pay and working conditions for young workers. This summer, Boost Our Pay activists are planning protests, campaigning stalls and meetings, and are going into workplaces to talk to workers to help build the fight-back.

Young workers are often used and abused by bosses and managers. The lower minimum wage levels for young people means they are seen as cheap labour by greedy bosses. Modern Apprentice schemes allow young people to be paid below even minimum wage levels.

The European decency threshold, the hourly rate needed to be able to maintain a decent standard of living, has been calculated at £8 an hour. Bosses will not easily relinquish such a share of the wealth so we have to organise and fight for it.

To start with we will expose JJB Sports, as well as other low pay employers we know about. Recent struggles of the JJB warehouse workers in the north west show that they are not working under acceptable conditions.

Workers were forced into taking action. Because they were organised in a trade union, with a fighting local leadership, they were able to stop some of the attacks, despite management's aggressive stance.

The Boost Our Pay campaign makes the case for joining trade unions. Members of a workforce face similar conditions. To be able to change things, we need to be able to act together, rather than just as individuals. On our own, if we stand up for better conditions, we can be victimised. If we walk out of a job, there's no guarantee of anything better. Together, we can struggle to improve pay and working conditions.

Boost Our Pay activists will be going into JJB and other workplaces, handing out leaflets and 'rights at work' cards (see

We aim to talk to workers about the campaign, both then and there and also by arranging to meet up in a local cafˇ when they're free. Boost Our Pay public meetings should be advertised throughout all of our campaigning.

We need to make it clear that we don't want young workers to be victimised - you don't have to tell your employer that you are a member of a trade union. But we know that there is anger among young people who can face super-exploitation in the workplace.

Over the summer we have to make sure that Boost Our Pay is a feature of high streets where low pay is rife and that wherever we are, the campaign is raising the level of understanding among young workers about their rights and how they can be improved.

We campaign for a decent minimum wage for all. We want to involve, discuss with, and build support for all young workers fighting back against attacks from their employers.

The campaign is organised around the following demands:

If you'd like to find out more, or get involved, contact us today! We are also asking for sponsorship and donations for the campaign from trade union branches. If you think your branch would be interested, get in touch.

PO Box 858 London E11 1YG
020 8558 7947

Minimum wage levels from October 2007

Employers who do not pay staff the national minimum wage face a £200 fine for each worker affected. Unsurprisingly with that minimal penalty more than 1,500 employers were exposed for not paying the minimum wage to more than 25,000 workers last year.

Why you should join a union

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 19 July 2007:

Build a new workers' party

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fight cuts threat to London hospitals

War and terrorism

'Strategic failure' in Iraq and Afghanistan

Socialist Party news and analysis

Can flood relief get Hull back on its feet?

Bolivian oil workers request solidarity

Visteon workers walk out

Metronet - bankrupt firm, bankrupt PPP

Postal workers' strike

Postal workers - fighting low pay, against privatisation and job cuts

Council cuts threaten schools

Lewisham schools: defending 'outdated' equality

Building resistance to schools closures in Cardiff

Socialist Party youth and students

Education - not safe in Brown's hands

Boost our pay: Organising for our rights at work

International socialist news and analysis

USA: The case for socialised medicine

Living in the GDR: Balancing between two different worlds

'War crimes' accusations by mine workers

Socialist Party workplace news

Glasgow social workers vote for indefinite strike

Defend democracy - stop the witch-hunt in UNISON

School dinners saved... for now

Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007

Come to Socialist Party summer camp


Home   |   The Socialist 19 July 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHealth workers strike against £2,000 loss of pay

triangleSummer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

triangleEquity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

triangleHull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

triangleHuge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant


triangleDundee: young workers meet

triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangleUnions and campaigners discuss fight to end education crisis


triangleStriking workers defy the race to the bottom at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Liverpool RMT seafarers protest against super-exploitation



Workers reject 'Martini' contract



Anger continues to mount over imposition of direct rule



Health workers strike against £2,000 loss of pay



Leeds estate residents push back private development


Socialist Party Scotland

Dundee: young workers meet



Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!


Far right

Far right seen off at Oxford Circus



Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard



Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation



Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions



After the fire: fight for facilities for all



Fight back against the retail bosses!



Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal



Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019