Manchester City and Manchester United are being challenged to pay all match day staff the Living Wage before the Manchester derby this month.
Greater Manchester mayoral candidate and MP, Ivan Lewis, has reached out to both clubs to become Living Wage employers before their match at the Etihad on March 20.
The Labour MP for Bury South has teamed up with the Living Wage Campaign to announce the challenge.
The joint plea comes after it was revealed that up to 1,000 members of staff are estimated to earning less than £8.25 an hour, the amount earmarked as being adequate for a basic standard of living.
Lewis said: “City and United are enormous assets to Greater Manchester and their fans are rightly proud of their success.
“However when you see the wage packets of top players compared to the cleaners, caterers and turnstile staff, the inequality is stark.
“As a football fan, I am asking both clubs to lead by example and commit to using only Living Wage contractors by becoming Living Wage accredited employers.”
It is estimated that City star Sergio Aguero and United captain Wayne Rooney earn 150 and 180 times as much as the living wage respectively.
Across the squad, United are paid an average of £476-an-hour while City’s players earn £595-an-hour – 60 and 75 times more than the living wage.
“When I use my season ticket at the Etihad for the derby this month I will want to know that the people who are working hard that day, in whatever capacity, are being paid enough to enjoy a basic standard of living,” added Lewis.
The Premier League will ensure that all clubs will pay their directly-employed staff the required amount – £1.75 more than the minimum wage – by the start of the 2016/17 season.
However this does not cover the estimated 40,000 match-day staff working across the entire league who are on less than the Living Wage.
Tom Skinner, from the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign, said: “We all acknowledge and applaud the great work already being done by both clubs in the community, from the regeneration of large parts of east Manchester by Man City – in partnership with Manchester City Council – to the outreach and charity work by Man United.
“We also acknowledge the steps made by both clubs in ensuring that their directly employed staff are paid the Living Wage, ahead of the Premier League’s schedule.
“However, this commitment has not yet been extended to all contracted and subcontracted staff who make up the majority of match day staff.”
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