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s2smodern

At the beginning of November the Living Wage Foundation celebrated Living Wage Week by announcing the new Living Wage hourly rate for 2018/19 of £9 per hour, an increase of 25p per hour.

Launch events were held around the country to bring together business, influencers and civil society to announce and celebrate the new rate and the movement, and to call on key institutions to join the campaign to close the gap between the government minimum and the real Living Wage.  Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ, Superior of the Manchester Jesuit community, was invited to share the platform with the Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, as well as other faith leaders, including Imam Abid Khan of Cheadle Mosque – the first Living Wage affiliated mosque in the north west.

Quoting the famous papal encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) “by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition,”  Fr Brendan reminded the audience that dignity in work is a key  Brendan Callaghan SJ speaking at Living Wage launch 2018principle of Catholic Social Teaching.  After referring to examples from  the old and new testaments Fr Brendan concluded, “World faiths all share this commitment to the common good and the just treatment of each other.  What makes for justice will triumph over injustice.  What makes for unity will triumph over what divides.  What leads to life will triumph over what leads to death and destruction.  We can and we will make a difference.”

The Society of Jesus Trust has been a Living Wage employer since March 2016 and is one of over 4,700 employers across the UK including 338 in the north west and 1,500 in London, where the Living Wage is now £10.55 per hour, an increase of 35p per hour.

The Living Wage is a cause strongly supported by the Citizens UK movement, in which several Jesuit parishes and chaplaincies are involved.  The Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy was a driving force behind the establishment of the Manchester Chapter of Citizens UK and gives office space to its permanent staff.

The Manchester event, at the National Football Museum, was sponsored by IKEA, whose spokesperson said that paying the Living Wage was good for business – the extra IKEA spends on wages is more than offset by reductions in recruitment and training costs.

New research finds that £809,000,000 in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers because of the Living Wage movement, with almost £200m extra received in the past year alone.

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s2smodern