TRADES unionists in York are to launch a “York Needs a Pay-rise” campaign, calling for some employers to 'raise their game' by paying a decent wage.

The York & District Trades Union Council (TUC) claims that despite what politicians might say, there is no economic recovery until the disposable incomes of ordinary people have improved.

President Leigh Wilks said members were travelling to London today to take part in a national march and rally with the theme of “Britain Needs A Pay-rise", and had decided to launch a similar initiative at a local level in York.

"Currently we are involved in collating data about pay levels and zero hour contracts in the city centre and will be working with a number of student and community groups to identify York's most responsible employers," he said.

He believed the 'gold standard' was the implementation of the Living Wage but claimed that while there were undoubtedly many responsible employers in the city, there were also those whose 'poverty wages must make living in York a struggle at the best of times, and at worst, a near-impossibility".

He said: "City of York Council's commitment to the Living Wage for all its employees is to be highly commended and we hope that with sufficient pressure, certain York employers will raise their game and make a similar commitment to make this a business-friendly city by paying a decent wage to the people who actually put most of their money back into the city's economy."

He paid tribute to The Press's Stamp Out Poverty campaign, which he said would resonate with young people who were bearing the brunt of the cost of living in York.

"The young in particular are passionate (and angry) about the zero-hour culture they now find themselves in."

He claimed the only real pay rises being seen were for those who had been the least deserving of them – 'namely the financial and banking elite who caused the economic crash that now everyone else was having to pay for.'

York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce was unavailable for comment.