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Thursday, 27 December, 2001, 14:09 GMT
TUC acts on pay gap
TUC general secretary John Monks
John Monks said the pay gap is still too big
The TUC is to launch a drive to tackle the 18% gap between the pay of men and women.

The union organisation announced on Thursday it is to train 500 equal pay representatives across the country to work with employers on reviewing wage rates.

A series of courses will be held at centres including Bristol, Southampton, London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham and Bridgend.

TUC general secretary John Monks said: "The long campaign for equal pay has made progress down the years but we still have more to do."

Fear

"The efforts of these reps is going to make a real difference to women's pay and to tackling discrimination at work."

The TUC has been calling for statutory pay reviews to identify firms which pay women lower rates than men.

The government recently appointed Denise Kingsmill, the deputy chairman of the Competition Commission, to lead an inquiry into equal pay and suggest practical solutions to the pay gap.

Over a lifetime, the difference earned between a man and woman is estimated at 250,000.
Women earn 18% less than men
Despite 30 years of legislation, women still earn less than men

Last year, unions marked the 30th anniversary of equal pay legislation by urging the government and employers to speed up the pace of change.

After 30 years of legislation, women in the UK on average in full-time work earned only 81% of men's hourly earnings.

In 1970, when the Equal Pay Act was introduced, women's full-time earnings were 65% of men's.

But there is a fear that the remaining gap may take another 30 years to close.

See also:

13 Aug 01 | Business
Women still paid less than men
27 Mar 01 | Business
Womens' equal pay 'champions'
25 May 00 | UK
'Long delay for equal pay'
25 May 00 | Business
Action urged on pay gap
25 Oct 01 | Business
Rights for temporary workers
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