A living wage? You can’t do it if you B&Q it

A living wage? You can’t do it if you B&Q it

14 December 2012

Workers at B&Q's warehouse in Burton-on-Trent are preparing to hold a ballot for strike action over pay, with some workers on such low pay they cannot afford to put food on the table.

Unite, Britain's biggest union, is launching the campaign for a living wage for workers at B&Q's Branston warehouse. Unite is demanding that B&Q end poverty pay rates of £6.57 and £7.35 within the warehouse.

Out of 240 operatives, none are earning more than £7.35. Some workers have complained to the union that they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families on their pay.

Instead they are having just one meal a day in the staff canteen in order to be able to give their children three square meals a day. The workers are being offered a paltry two per cent pay increase.

Unite regional officer, Rick Coyle, said:

“B&Q now faces the very real prospect of a strike. There are workers at the warehouse who can’t afford to feed themselves and their families, but B&Q posted £45 million in profits.

“It’s time B&Q paid the workers a living wage. If B&Q won’t do it itself then our members will by preparing for strike action.”

Workers at the warehouse had their pay frozen in 2009 and 2010 and suffered a below inflation pay rise in 2011. This year, workers are being offered just two per cent. Unite is claiming a six per cent increase.


For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.

Notes to editors

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.