Sainsbury’s major investors have launched a campaign to become the first supermarket group to pay all its workers the ‘real live wage’ of £9.90 an hour in a bid to tackle the cost of living crises.
Legal & General Investment Management, Nest (National Employment Savings Trust) and several MP’s have formed a coalition to push for the change after reports that an increasing amount of supermarket workers have turned to food banks to feed themselves and their families.
Research by Organise network discovered that one in three Sainsbury’s workers regularly worry about putting food and drink on the table.
The nationwide real living wage is currently £9.90, while in London it is £11.05, This is set to rise in November and compares with the statutory minimum wage of £8.91 which rises to £9.50 on 1 April.
The group of investors are set to file a shareholder resolution today (28 March) calling for the Big 4 grocer to accredit as a living wage employer until July 2023.
READ MORE: Sainsbury’s announces pay rise for staff
The resolution will be put to the vote at the Sainsbury’s annual general meeting planned for 7 July.
The group said it would write to all UK supermarkets urging them to take the same action.
“We pay more than many of our competitors, and across the board, colleague feedback has been positive to our pay review … Our competitive pay rates are in addition to our colleague discount programme, matching pension scheme and recently enhanced family leave policy,” Sainsbury’s spokesperson said to The Guardian.
“As we balance the needs of all our stakeholders, particularly in the light of the current cost of living challenges that many people in the UK face, it is vital that we not only pay our colleagues fairly but that we are able to invest significantly to offer customers great value.”
According to the investor campaign group, ShareAction, supermarket staff continue to be one of the largest groups of low-paid workers in the UK despite their status as key workers during the pandemic.
The news comes after Asda came under fire by the GMB Union for imposing a ‘below-inflation’ pay increase that will see its staff members earn £9.66 in April.