Northern Ireland men work longest hours in UK, women losing hours as part-time working grows
Average UK wages after inflation lower than what it was twelve years ago, with Northern Ireland wages even lower
June 14th: Jimmy Kelly, Unite Regional Secretary, has pledged his union’s intent to raise wages for workers across Northern Ireland.
“The statistics released today by the Office of National Statistics confirm the stagnation of average wages across the UK. Since the recession of 2008, workers have experienced the greatest reduction in real pay since the Napoleonic wars two hundred years ago. Indeed inflation-proofed statistics show average pay today is lower than it was twelve years ago.
“The situation in Northern Ireland is even worse. Average pay here is among the lowest in the UK – almost five thousand pounds less than the UK average and almost eight thousand pounds less than the average in the Republic of Ireland.
“Notwithstanding this, the statistics also show that Northern Ireland employees work longer for less. Men in Northern Ireland work considerably longer than they do in any other UK region. The average working week for men here is 38.6 hours compared to the UK average of 36.6 hours – the second longest working-week is in London with an average 37.6 hours.
“While male workers in Northern Ireland work longer for less, with the loss of public sector employment and the growth of part-time and zero-hours contracts women are struggling to find full-time jobs. The average working week for women here is only 26.8 hours.
“These statistics are an indictment of the failed austerity policies pursued by Westminster and Stormont. With the likelihood of another Conservative-led government it is vital that workers protect themselves and their families by joining a trade union.
“Survey after survey proves that workers in trade unions are paid very significantly more than those who aren’t. The message for workers is that joining a fighting union like Unite is the best way to secure increased pay and a better work-life balance through reasonable working-hours”, Mr Kelly concluded.