Unite urges for ‘profit restraint’ amid rising inflation

Unite the union is calling for “profit restraint” instead of holding down worker’s pay, after claiming company profits were responsible for almost 60% of the rise in inflation in just half a year.

As a result, the trade union claimed that company bosses were driving inflation, not “hard-pressed workers”.

According to research of the FTSE 350, profit margins for the companies mentioned were 73% higher last year, compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“The weight of evidence shows that the UK is in the grip of a profiteering crisis,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.

“Workers’ wages, and what they can buy, are being squeezed by corporate wreckers pursuing runaway profits, quite literally at our expense.”

The trade union added that its study revealed that company revenues increased by over 11% in the six months to March 2022, while labour costs fell by 0.8%, accounting for inflation.

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As a result, the move is responsible for 58.7% of inflation in the last half year, as opposed to just 8.3% due to labour costs.

However, the report also included between 2020 and 2021 the highest paid directors of the UK’s biggest listed companies saw average pay increase by 29% from £2.01 million in 2020 to £2.59 million in 2021

“The Governor of the Bank of England and Boris Johnson want workers to think it’s irresponsible to demand better wages to pay for crippling food and energy prices.

“But Unite’s report exposes the truth. It’s not hard-pressed workers who are driving inflation, its whole swathes of corporate Britain. In the last six months, company profits were responsible for almost 60% of inflation.”

Graham concluded: “It’s not just energy companies. There are businesses right across our economy and their directors who have made vast sums of money from Covid-19 and the inflationary pressures that have followed.

“Those who have profited from the crisis should pay for it. Unite makes absolutely no apologies for demanding better pay for our members. Wage restraint? It’s time to demand profit restraint.”

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