Case Studies in Work, Employment and Human Resource Management
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Case Studies in Work, Employment and Human Resource Management

Edited by Tony Dundon and Adrian Wilkinson

This comprehensive book offers a fascinating set of over 40 evidence-based case studies derived from international research on work, employment and human resource management (HRM).
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Chapter 11: The campaign for a ‘real Living Wage’

Peter Prowse, Tony Dobbins and Ray Fells


While the concept of a Living Wage is not new, the modern Living Wage movement is viewed as having developed in America in the municipal government sector. In 1994, seeing full-time employees coming to their soup kitchens, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (a coalition of churches, trade unions and neighbourhood groups) started campaigning for a Living Wage (Luce, 2017). Their campaign spread and Lammam (2014) reported that more than 140 American municipalities have Living Wage laws. In contrast, the modern campaign for a Living Wage in the UK emerged in the commercial district of London’s Canary Wharf. The East London branch (TELCO) of the community organisation Citizens UK launched the campaign in 2001, staging protest actions which led to payment of the Living Wage at prominent city banks. The campaign became national and is coordinated by the Living Wage Foundation, established in 2011 by Citizens UK. As a direct result of these campaigns, wage increases have been secured in universities, banking and financial services, healthcare, cleaning, hospitality, catering and retail (Wills and Sims, 2004; Lopes and Hall, 2015).

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