Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner MP joined fellow Labour MPs this week to launch the ‘National Living Rage’ single, to publicise the fact that thousands of low paid workers are receiving pay cuts this Christmas.
The pay cuts have been made by many British companies around the country, including Marks & Spencer, B&Q, John Lewis, Tesco, Morrisons, Café Nero and Boots.
Many have replaced old contracts with new ones, which contain reduced pay packages and worse terms and conditions.
The contract changes include: the end of paying double time for working on Sundays and Bank Holidays; elimination of ‘unsocial’ hours payments; ending the inclusion of 30m lunches in staff contracts; termination of free lunches; pension cuts; abolition of seasonal bonuses.
All of these changes have been made around the introduction of the new higher basic rate of pay and are being used as an opportunity to cut costs.
At the high street retailer Marks & Spencer, it is estimated that 11,000 of their total workforce of 83,000 will be hit by pay cuts – 13% of the workforce.
3,100 M&S employees will lose at least £1000 or more as a result of these pay cuts.
More than 7,700 residents in the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency work in the affected industries of food production, restaurant hospitality and retail.
Angela Rayner MP said: "I am so disappointed by the decision of some of our most famous and most loved high street companies to cut the total pay of their older, longstanding staff.
"Meanwhile, the top bosses of the companies we all know are receiving ever-increasing bonuses and salaries. loyal staff, who are being appallingly treated.
"I call on all of these companies to reverse their terrible decision to cut staff pay in this unscrupulous way.
"This is a campaign song to make sure everyone knows about the pay cuts in their shops and coffee shops.
"It is not a charity single, although we are glad that proceeds from any sales of the original record will go the Band Aid Trust. Shop workers want justice and fair pay, not charity."