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Minimum wage workers ‘worse off by more than £1,000 compared to last year’

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

Workers on minimum wage rates are more than £1,000 worse off than a year ago as a result of soaring inflation, new research suggests.

As RPI inflation reached 7.5% in December it meant that a worker on the National Minimum Wage would need £1,252 more a year to prevent a real terms pay cut while a worker on the voluntary Real Living Wage would need £1,395 more, according to a study by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

The research was published as rail cleaners on four contracts in the South East ballot for strike action and train cleaners on the West Coast services take industrial action over pay.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Many workers have been hit by a double whammy of pay freezes and soaring inflation and no more so than those who were already on low wages.

“This report shows the devastating effect of inflation on the wage packets of the heroes who have kept our essential services running through the pandemic.

“It’s a national disgrace that so many of these workers – clapped, praised and glad-handed by the great and the good – are now expected to put up with pay cuts that leave these already low-paid workers struggling to make ends meet.”

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