Sainsbury’s 2021 pay offer to staff – a 20p increase to £9.50 an hour – has been ‘put to shame’ by Morrisons’ pledge to pay workers £10 an hour from April, Unite said today (Friday 26 February). 

Unite, the UK’s leading union, branded the profitable company’s offer to staff – who have risked their health to keep the nation fed during the pandemic – ‘pathetic’.

The union, which represents around 9,000 Sainsbury’s workers, said the company’s ‘PR friendly plan’ to pay small bonuses will cause reductions and interruptions to the in-work benefits that many of its low paid staff rely on.

Instead of a bonus system, Unite called on Sainsbury’s to match Morrisons’ more generous offer and ‘give staff the proper pay rise they deserve’.

Over the last three and a half years, Sainsbury’s workers have only had a 3.3 per cent pay increase on base rates, while all other payments, such as shift and public holiday premiums, have been frozen.

Unite national officer Bev Clarkson said: “Over the last year, Sainsbury’s staff have risked their health to keep the nation fed. They kept Sainsbury’s coffers full as they did so, even as other businesses were going to the wall.

“Sainsbury’s has decided to repay its workforce’s loyalty and hard work by offering them a pathetic 20p increase to £9.50 an hour, which is put to shame by Morrisons’ commitment to pay all its workers £10 an hour.

“Nor, as the company insists, does providing small bonuses to staff make up for the low pay on offer. These bonuses will cause reductions and interruptions to payments of universal credit and working tax credits that many Sainsbury’s staff rely on. 

“Instead of a PR friendly plan to offer bonuses, Sainsbury’s should match Morrisons’ pledge and give staff the proper pay rise they deserve.” 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Sainsbury’s ‘acting like Scrooge’ with Boxing Day work demands on top of extended opening hours

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

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