by Tim Lezard Pay and living standards are the priorities for the TUC’s new president. Leslie Manasseh, Deputy General Secretary at Prospect, was elected at TUC Congress in Liverpool yesterday, succeeding Unite’s  Mohammad Taj. He said: “Next year’s el …

Tim Lezard Europe, UK,

Leslie Manasseh TUC
by Tim Lezard

Pay and living standards are the priorities for the TUC’s new president.

Leslie Manasseh, Deputy General Secretary at Prospect, was elected at TUC Congress in Liverpool yesterday, succeeding Unite’s  Mohammad Taj.

He said: “Next year’s election is more important than any other election I can remember. Never has it been so crucial for us to ensure politicians understand the huge financial pressures faced by families across the country as they struggle to make ends meet, thanks to falling real wages and rising prices.

“With wages a declining proportion of our national wealth, workers have taken the financial hit and are still paying the price for the crash. Too many employers are choosing to reward shareholders or build up cash reserves, rather than pay decent wages. Instead of getting labour on the cheap, those employers that can afford to pay their workers more should give their staff a pay rise.

“Pay and living standards have taken centre stage this week in Liverpool, and will continue to be one of our top concerns as we campaign to get Britain the pay rise working people deserve. In fact one of the first major events of my presidency will be the Britain Needs a Pay Rise march and rally in London on 18 October which thousands of people are set to attend.

“We are witnessing the growing concentration of power in the hands of the wealthy and the privileged. Unions remain one of the few ways that ordinary working people can challenge this over-concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few and ensure a more democratic, fairer society.

“Continuing the fight against all forms of inequality and the fact that too many young people are disadvantaged simply because of where they live will also be a key focus of my year. As will encouraging more people to join a union, and campaign for a better deal for themselves and their workmates.

“Reaching out to the millions of workers with no union card, particularly in the private sector, is vital if we are to win the fight against low pay, insecure employment and unscrupulous bosses.”

Leslie has been a trade union official since the early 1980s when he began working as a union organiser at the then Society of Civil and Public Servants. He subsequently worked at the Society of Telecom Executives, again as a union organiser, before becoming Deputy General Secretary of Connect, a position he now holds at Prospect.

 Leslie is a member of the TUC’s race committee and in 2007 was one of the 16 members of the TUC’s Commission for Vulnerable Employment which spent a year taking evidence from across the UK. It then recommended a variety of ways for government, civil society, employers and unions to work together to improve the precarious and insecure lives of the UK’s most vulnerable workers.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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