12 Reasons Why We Need A Decent Pay Rise

Management will try to convince us that we should accept a low pay rise because of the economic crisis. In truth, the crisis makes it even more important that we get a decent rise. Here's why ...

1. We did not cause the economic crisis, so we should not have to pay for it. We and other workers create the wealth in society. If bankers gamble some of that wealth away, that is not our fault.

2. Our bills have gone up and are due to go up even more.

3. Government measures of inflation - CPI and RPI - consistently under-estimate the real price inflation experienced by working people. This is because the highest price rises are for essentials such as food and utilities, and we spend a much greater proportion of our income on these things than the rich do.

4. The demands on our incomes are not being 'moderated' because of the recession. Landlords are not saying "I'll let you off your rent this month, what with the economic crisis"!

5. A low pay rise will have real and distressing consequences for us. Without a decent pay rise, London's transport workers face home repossessions, debts, stress, and a struggle to support ourselves and our families.

6. If the government can afford to bail out the banks to the tune of billions of pounds, then it can afford to pay public service workers such as ourselves a decent wage rise.

7. When private Train Operating Companies go to the government with the begging bowl demanding public subsidies, they get it - even while they are raking in profit and running a rubbish service. So when we demand a decent wage for working hard, 24/7 all year round, we should get it too.

8. The government says that it wants us to spend more. To do that, we need money, especially as banks are now so unwilling to lend. Gordon Brown's policy is to stimulate economic revival. Lower pay rises will have the opposite effect.

9. Self-sacrifice by us will not save a single job in our industry or any other. There are plenty of examples of unions accepting low pay rises - or even pay cuts - in order to 'save jobs', only to find that a few months later, the employer cuts the jobs anyway. If we demand a decent pay rise, this helps both ourselves and workers in other industries by showing that we do not have to accept paying for the economic crisis, and may turn the tide back in favour of working people.

10. The employers are hardly tightening their belts. Click here to see what our bosses are trousering.

11. Our employers want to use the economic crisis as a pretext to push our wages down and attack our conditions. We won't save our conditions by sacrificing our wages. We have to defend them both together.

12. Because we deserve it.