Manchester Central Foodbank has today joined the Living Wage Foundation, Greater Manchester Citizens, and community and charity groups across the region in asking Manchester United and Manchester City to become accredited Living Wage employers. You can see the letter sent to the clubs and add your name to the campaign here.
In the wake of Marcus Rashford’s phenomenal child poverty campaigning, with the Manchester sides facing off against their Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton this weekend, at the start of #LivingWageWeek, this seems like the perfect time to highlight that the Liverpudlian clubs are both accredited, while the Mancunians are not. West Ham, Chelsea and Crystal Palace are the only other Premier League clubs who are.
Our ultimate aim is to have a UK without the need for food charity, where everybody has a job that pays them a living wage and an social security system that means those who are not able to work are supported adequately without the need for foodbanks. We are a living wage employer ourselves and fully encourage all employers, particularly flagship institutions like Premier League clubs becoming fully accredited.
Contrary to what many people might assume, many people who are supported by our foodbank and those across the country are in employment, but often impacted by pay below the living wage, irregular hours, and lack of sick pay. The impact of COVID has made the situation for many workers much more precarious and we have seen foodbank usage treble compared to last year, as testimonies from foodbank users demonstrate:
“[I have] worked all my life but now on a zero-hour contract and am not receiving enough hours of work: one hour in three weeks! I’ve raised my kids but now I need help”
“[I am] still working but less working hours given – after paying some bills there’s no money left for anything else”