40 years of equal pay!?!

4th November 2010 by

Last month I went to see Made in Dagenham. I love a bit of strike action and generally anything in life or art where people rally round together. It’s a nice feel good film, full of class cliches and not particularly historically accurate, but still a nice thing to do on an autumnal evening. I should also point out that I hardly ever watch films, go to the cinema a few times a year and don’t watch telly- so I’m pretty easy to please with moving pictures on a big screen, my senses are awed even if my brain isn’t.

Then, just before the credits rolled came the text:

“In 1970 the Equal Pay Act was passed”

and a voice in my head shouted ‘AND 40 YEARS LATER THERE’S STILL A MASSIVE PAY GAP!’ Were we really meant to fall for this wholly unsatisfactory ‘happy ending’? To be precise- 40 years after the Equal Pay Act, women working full-time in the UK are still paid on average 16.4% less per hour than men. Obviously my warm-fuzzy-look-what-we-can-do-if-we-all-get-together feeling was gone, vanished faster than a factory full of machinists on strike.

Tuesday 2nd November was Equal Pay Day. And no, unfortunately that doesn’t mean that everyone gets equal pay regardless of gender, race and religion. The full-time pay gap between women and men is equivalent to men being paid all the year round while women work for free after 2 November.

The Fawcett Society are petitioning the coalition to sort out the pay gap. Which is much more productive than sitting around getting all Grrrr. But still, GRRRRRRR!

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