Led to action on the Living Wage
In November 2014 I attended the Quaker conference 'Food banks are not enough' at Bull Street Meeting House. I left feeling led to take some action on the Living Wage.
I had been made aware of the growing levels of economic injustice by the Equality Trust monthly newsletters and had learnt of initiatives such as the Citizens Income and the Living Wage. The conference amplified the scale and scope of the inequality and injustice in the UK.
I shared the Minute and my thoughts with Friends as part of the Minute 59 Sustainability and Economic Justice Group of Lancaster Meeting.
Responding to a leading
My sense was that if people were paid a Living Wage a significant number would regain some control of their lives, have reduced stress and be lifted out of in-work benefits and reliance on food banks to get by.- Ann Morgan, Lancaster Local Meeting
My sense was that if people were paid a Living Wage a significant number would regain some control of their lives, have reduced stress and be lifted out of in-work benefits and reliance on food banks to get by. I asked Local Business Meeting for support to stand in the name of Lancaster Quakers in the period prior to Christmas calling on major retailers in the city to pay the Living Wage; celebrating local organisations that pay it and giving out information to the public about why a Living Wage should be paid.
Quaker Equality Week
Meeting also agreed to contribute to Quaker Equality Week and I agreed to co-ordinate activities. Two Friends joined me in planning and our December campaign in the city centre was welcomed by many we spoke with, some telling us their personal stories.
For Quaker Equality Week it was important that we provided a range of activities to enable as many Friends as possible to feel included whilst using the opportunity to reach out into our community.
The display of information in the Meeting House was read by many users. The 12 hour silent vigil appealed to many Friends and others felt able to write letters urging businesses to pay the Living Wage or participate in witnessing outside the Meeting House in the shadow of Lancaster Castle. During that witness I felt a palpable link with Friends that dissented from and challenged the status quo in the past. Lancaster Friends continue our Living Wage campaign in the run up to the general election.