DARLINGTON is becoming a ‘low-wage economy’ according to one trade unionist who took part in an anti-austerity campaign in the town at the weekend.

Members of the Darlington branch of the Trades Union Council (TUC) handed out leaflets in High Row on Saturday (April 5).

The TUC is campaigning for higher wages as part of Fair Pay Fortnight.

Loading article content

A TUC study found one in four people in County Durham earn less than the ‘living wage’ of £7.65 per hour.

Darlington people, in particular, have fared worse than most with a drop of more than 16 per cent in real-terms wages in the past five years.

Darlington TUC believes that the Government’s policies are making the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.

Pat Buttle, secretary of Darlington TUC, said: “These policies are primarily designed to reduce our living standards so private business can make more profits.

“We aim to build an alternative consensus that promotes fair pay and public investment as a solution to the crisis.”

Darlington Against Cuts co-ordinator Alan Docherty took part in the leafleting on Saturday.

He said: “Darlington has suffered one of the biggest reductions in the country in real wages over the last five years.

“Darlington is becoming a low-wage economy and that’s not good for the town.

“One of the main things we want people to do is join trade unions and get active.

“We have to fight for fairer pay, as it is not just going to be handed to people who ask nicely.”