Corbyn attends London rally amid ‘worst pay squeeze for workers for 200 years’

Union members, peace campaigners and politicians joined pensioners and families from across the UK at the colourful demonstration in the capital, organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

It was the biggest TUC event in years and came after new figures revealed UK workers are suffering the worst pay squeeze in 200 years, with millions of children in poverty despite their parents having jobs.

The TUC said that wages, which have lagged behind inflation, are worth £24 a week less than during the 2008 financial crisis and are not set to return to pre-crash levels until 2025.

By that time, workers will have lost out by around £18,500 in real earnings, the TUC claimed.

Amid the longest pay squeeze in modern history, Saturday’s rally called for a higher minimum wage, a ban on zero-hours contracts and more funding for the NHS, education and other public services.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady told marchers: “UK workers are suffering the worst pay squeeze for two centuries. It’s taking wages longer to recover from this crash than from the great depression and Second World War.

“This means families are struggling to get by. Millions of kids are growing up in poverty despite having parents in work. Mums and dads are skipping meals and turning to dodgy lenders to make ends meet.”

Nurses, ambulance crews, postmen, teachers, civil servants and cleaners were among front-line workers in attendance, as were workers in current disputes, including those at restaurant chains McDonald’s and TGI Fridays.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn also spoke at the event, telling the crowds his party would always “proudly support” working people coming together and organising to transform their workplaces and the country.

He added: “In government, we will give workers and employees more power at work, by strengthening their rights and freedoms to organise together to improve their lives.

“And because we believe in uniting people, we want to see workers across whole sectors, not just individual employers, get to bargain together to get the best deal for the workforce in their industry.

“Why should bar staff and waiters not be able to organise and support each other like London bus drivers can?

“It’s time for a fundamental shift in power in our country – from the few to the many – and that is exactly what the next Labour government will deliver.”

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