Lib Dem Mayoral Candidate, Siobhan Benita, has written to the CEO of the big four supermarkets demanding that they correct the “injustice” of workers not being paid enough to live on and to “pay all of your workers, at a minimum, the London Living Wage”.
Photography Copyright of Rob Greig
The letter notes that supermarket workers are “putting themselves at risk of catching the virus every day” and that the public have a newfound appreciation for how essential their work is.
The London Living Wage, set at £10.75 per hour, is based on the real cost of living in the capital. None of the four supermarkets Benita wrote to - Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons - are accredited as paying their workers this minimum standard by the Living Wage Foundation
Benita took the opportunity to thank supermarkets for all of their hard work during the Coronavirus pandemic and praised the sector for doing “an outstanding job” in adapting to the crisis.
But she also made a point out of saying any short term measures, like bonuses, will be “welcome but they won’t be sufficient”. Instead, she insisted that the introduction of a London Living Wage should be a permanent position.
Letters addressed individually and sent to the following on Friday 17th April:
- Dave Lewis (Tesco)
- Mike Coupe (Sainsbury's)
- David Potts (Morrison's
- Roger Burnley (Asda)
Letter to CEOs in full:
Dear [CEO name]
First of all, I want to thank you and your colleagues for working so hard to keep the country supplied during these challenging times. The sector has done an outstanding job in adapting to the Coronavirus outbreak and doing everything possible to keep shelves stocked and staff and shoppers safe.
In this moment of crisis, many people have begun to really appreciate just how essential our retail workers are. Supermarket workers are putting themselves at risk of catching the virus every day so that all of us can all access the food and supplies we need.
In this context, therefore, it is disappointing to know that so many of your workers in London are not being paid what they need to live on. The London Living Wage, set at £10.75 per hour, is based on the real cost of living in the capital. To my knowledge, your lower-paid workers fall below this standard. I’m writing now to urge you to correct this injustice and to please pay all of your workers, at a minimum, the London Living Wage.
I should make clear that although it is within the Coronavirus context that I am making this request, it is not limited to this period. Any bonuses or incentives offered to staff during this period will be welcome but they won’t be sufficient. Paying the London Living Wage should become a permanent position and you should seek full accreditation from the London Living Wage Foundation.
Thank you once again for all of your hard work during this time. I hope to hear from you on this matter soon.
Lib Dem Candidate for Mayor of London