Saturday, 21 January 2012

Try something new today, supermarkets told: pay a living wage

Try something new today, supermarkets told: pay a living wage in London Darren Johnson has called on supermarkets, the Mayor and Government to make work pay for all workers in London, following an investigation by the Fair Pay Network into low pay in the four largest supermarket chains. Last year the National Minimum Wage fell further behind the cost of living in the capital, rising 2.5% while the London Living Wage – calculated to cover basic living costs in the capital – rose by 5.7%. The higher rise in the London rate was attributed to benefit and tax credit cuts, and rises in food costs, average rents and public transport fares.
Darren Johnson commented:
“The minimum wage isn’t keeping up with the rising cost of living in London, forcing more parents to work two jobs to make ends meet. The Government needs to ramp the minimum wage up to be a genuine living wage, but instead they are letting the gap grow wider.
“The Mayor of London needs to get on his bully pulpit and call for all employers in London to prioritise pay rises for the lowest paid above bonuses for chief executives. In this age of obscene inequality we cannot leave it to employers to make sure they pay their staff enough for a basic standard of living.“

The Fair Pay Network report is available online:
On the 1st October 2011 the National Minimum Wage for workers aged 21 rose to £6.08, compared to the London Living Wage of £8.30. The latter is calculated each year by the Greater London Authority based on actual living costs and average incomes.
Since 2008, the National Minimum Wage has increased by 6.1% while the London Living Wage has increased by 11.4%.
16% of London’s workforce earns less than the London Living Wage, rising to 41% of part-time workers.
I believe it ought to be pointed out that people press-ganged by welfare reform legislation and bad advice from JobCentre Plus to join supermarket staff on 'work experience' as trainees get much less than the formally recognised staff members and were more likely to be obliged to work over Christmas than the regular staff members. For further details of this, contact Anne-Marie O'Reilly of Boycott Workfare

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