Around 285,000 working people in Wales would be better off if their employers paid a 'living wage' of £7.45 an hour says the TUC Wales.
The minimum wage for over 21s outside of London is currently £6.31.
The union says if every worker in Wales was paid a 'living wage' the UK Government would save £154 million through reduced spending on benefits and a boost in taxes.
Welsh employers are being told that low wages weaken the Welsh economy and leave working families in poverty.
Only 14 employers in Wales have signed up to the Living Wage and pay their staff a minimum of £7.45 - they include housing associations, Cardiff and Caerphilly Councils and the Welsh Government which employs 5,500 people.
Wales TUC President, David Evans said, "Some large companies are getting away with underpaying their staff as means tested benefits and tax credits top up incomes. Good employers continue to be undercut by bad ones and now more than ever, workers across Wales need a pay rise."
Earlier this week Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced that council staff at City Hall in London would get the Living Wage.
Johnson said the new rate will be worth £4.5m a year for lower-paid workers.
Over a third of council tenants affected by the bedroom tax in areas of Wales have fallen behind on their rent, according to figures released by the TUC today.
Figures obtained by the False Economy campaign reveal across Britain over 50,000 council housing tenants have fallen behind on their rent since the reform was introduced in April – nearly a third of all tenants affected by the tax in the 114 local authorities that provided data.
However in some parts of Wales, the proportion of council housing tenants in arrears has been far higher.
In Wrexham and Anglesey, almost half of all council house tenants (44%) affected by the bedroom tax have been pushed into arrears since April.
In Swansea, 38% of tenants in the city affected by the tax have fallen behind on their rent and in Cardiff, 616 families have experienced difficulties.
Wales TUC has welcomed the Welsh Government’s Smaller Properties Programme announced in August which provided £20 million in funding to help with the provision of smaller affordable homes.
Reacting to the figures Wales TUC National Officer, Julie Cook said,
“Today’s depressing news provides further proof that the Bedroom Tax is pushing families into complete despair. Disabled people who need space for their carers and families, and who have nowhere else to move, are being put at risk of debt and homelessness by the tax."
Alex Bevan from the Wales TUC says there has been downward on pressure on wages, influenced by high unemployment and a growth in zero-hours contracts in recent years.
He told ITV News that "too many employers are not paying their staff a decent wage because of the economic outlook".
Workers in Wales have seen their weekly pay packet fall by an average of £32.36 between 2007 and 2012 - a greater drop in wages than any other part of the UK.
The following figures are for full-time employees, working a 40-hour week, after taking inflation into account:
- Workers in Wales were paid £32.36 less per week (in 2012, compared to 2007)
- Workers in England were paid £30.62 less per week
- Workers in Scotland were paid £21.54 less per week
- Workers in Northern Ireland were paid £24.47 less per week
- Men in Wales were paid £33.65 less per week
- Women in Wales were paid £18.83 less per week
- Flintshire has seen the biggest fall in wages - workers were paid £57 less per week
- Merthyr Tydfil is the only area where wages are up - workers were paid £0.34 more per week
The TUC says families in Wales are experiencing "a huge squeeze" on their incomes.
Its research, published today, shows wages here have fallen by 7.3 per cent since 2007.
Wages in Wales have fallen by 7.3 per cent since 2007, according to research published today by the TUC. That's worse than the UK-wide average drop of 6.3 per cent. Across Wales and the UK as a whole, men have seen their pay squeezed harder than women.
The figures compiled by the TUC show that - after taking inflation into account - weekly pay packets in Wales have fallen by an average of £32.36 since 2007.
Flintshire is the hardest hit county in Wales, where average hourly pay has fallen from £11.75 in 2007 to £10.31 last year - a 12.2 per cent real terms drop.
Wales has lost more than £2bn from job cuts and shrinking pay packets accoring to the TUC.
It has used government figures over the last five years to calculate what it is calling the national pay packet.
But what does it mean to all of us as we work out our weekly spending?