Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
York & District TUC joins fight against poverty
THE Press Stamp Out Poverty campaign has won the backing of York & District TUC.
Leigh Wilks, president of the trades union umbrella organisation, said it was pleasing to see the newspaper taking such an active interest in poverty in the city.
He said: “York’s seeming reputation as an affluent and ‘middle class’ city has for far too long detracted from the fact there is still a great deal of poverty in the city, much of it under-reported.”
The campaign, launched last November, aims to highlight the impact of the recession on ordinary families, examine ways in which more people can be brought out of poverty and call for the speeding up of social housing programmes.
It was launched in the wake of a tragic front page story about the plight of a young mother, Kia Stone, whose 11-month-old baby Telan Carlton died after spending all her life in a damp and overcrowded flat in York.
Her story mirrored hundreds of others across the country as the recession and public sector cuts made daily lives a struggle for vulnerable families.
Mr Wilks said the TUC, whose affiliate unions include Unite, Unison, the GMB, PCS and Usdaw, was concerned York was in some ways a victim of its own success.
He said tourism had replaced many of the old manufacturing jobs, such as trainmaking and confectionery, as a major employer, but it paid many staff only the minimum wage, leaving them unable to afford to buy or rent properties which were at sky high prices.
He said the TUC wanted as many employers as possible to pay at least the living wage. “It would make a huge difference,” he said.
It also supported council efforts to see more houses built to help meet demand for affordable homes, and he would like to see exploitative landlords who charged exorbitant rents named and shamed.
Comments are closed on this article.