Recession not over for workers

In January, the Office for National Statistics declared the UK was out of recession – even if growth was a measly 0.1%! However, for workers the recession is far from over.

According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings published by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, actual average wages in Fermanagh collapsed by 11% last year! The median wage in Fermanagh fell from £299.50 down to £266.50 a week. Strabane has the lowest paid workers in Northern Ireland, with median wages only £251.70. Women workers in particular have seen major cuts in pay, widening the pay gap between men and women. Women now earn on average 83% of male workers.

The construction industry crash especially has devastated conditions for workers. Cookstown saw the biggest drop in male earnings. Male workers in Cookstown are the lowest paid across Northern Ireland with an average wage of just £308 a week. Dungannon has seen wages fall by 7%. The recession has been ceased upon by greedy bosses to slash wages. Workers are being left with the skimmed milk whilst the fat cats get all the cream!

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What cuts have you been affected by over the last year?
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The DUP are refusing to take part in Pride. Their homophobia and bigotry was further exposed this week when Jim Wells (MLA) told Gay Pride organisers that, “I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march repugnant. I do not wish to be associated in any way with this event. My position on this will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time.”

The fact that, Jim Wells, the Deputy Chairperson of the Health Committee at the Assembly can spout such vile bigotry is testament to the fact that homophobia is still acceptable among the political establishment.