£4.62 for workers aged 16-18? It’s a ‘rip-off’ says PBP councillor Shaun Harkin

A councillor has demanded an end to the ‘rip-off’ wages being earned by young people across the north.

By Kevin Mullan
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:24 pm
Councillor Shaun Harkin.

People Before Profit Colr. Shaun Harkin said it is wrong workers aged under 19 are paid only £4.62 per hour and workers aged under 20 are paid less than £7 per hour.

“If we want young people to have hope, to stay here and to thrive here - we need to shake-up the status quo propped up by corporations and the Stormont Executive, ” he said.

Colr. Harkin is calling for ‘equal pay for equal work’ this November which is designated ‘Young Workers Month’. “It’s unacceptable for 16-18 yr-olds to be paid only £4.62 an hour. Under-20s are paid less than £7 an hour. What kind of message does it send to young people that they don’t deserve even the basic minimum wage of £8.91?” he asked.

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He claimed the ‘cynical politics of division constantly pursued by both sides of the unionist and nationalist establishment does nothing to help young people’.

“When it comes to standing up for young people it’s been ‘blah blah blah’ from the Executive. There’s been no anti-poverty strategy. Continued failure to properly expand Magee and create the type of infrastructure Derry and the North West needs. They’ve done zero to promote voting rights for 16 and 17-year-olds. Student demands have been ignored. And, egregiously, the Executive has done nothing to challenge rip-off wages paid to young people working in key sectors.”