Global poll: workers are struggling to get by

A new survey of public opinion by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reveals that almost three-quarters of respondents believe their governments should be taking action to secure a pay rise for workers.

The 2017 global poll was carried out in 16 countries covering 3.9 billion people: 53% of the world’s population. In Europe, it gathered responses from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The data show that families are in crisis financially. Four out of five workers are struggling to make ends meet, while more than half of respondents in the EU say their household income has fallen behind the cost of living in the last two years. In Belgium, 63% report declining incomes, while in France over 50% are “barely getting by”. Around the world, an overwhelming majority (80%) say their national minimum wage is not enough to guarantee a decent life, while 9% cannot afford basic necessities like housing, food and energy.

Almost three in four people (74%) are worried about rising inequality between the richest 1% and the rest of the population, while 56% are anxious about unfair competition from lower paid foreign workers. “The world needs a pay rise” concludes the report.