Sainsbury’s shareholders are expected to vote on a resolution calling for the supermarket to commit to paying real living wage to all its employees by July 2023.
Responsible investment group ShareAction said that negotiations with the Big 4 grocer had reached an impasse and the resolution would ‘definitely’ go to a vote at the 7 July meeting.
Sainsbury’s has been paying real living wages to all its directly employed staff since May but said it is not doing so for its third party contractors, such as cleaners and security guards.
The Living Wage Foundation charity established the ‘real living wage’ using calculations from the Resolution Foundation think tank.
The rates are currently £11.05 per hour in London and £9.90 per hour in the rest of the United Kingdom. That compares with Britain’s government-mandated minimum wage rate of £9.50 per hour.
“To effectively balance the needs of our customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders we must preserve the right to make independent business decisions which are not determined by a separate body,” Sainsbury’s spokesman said to Reuters.
The Bank of England is watching pay deals closely as it weighs up the impacts of the recent jump in inflation to a 40-year high of 9% on the economy.