Retail firms should pay a minimum wage of at least £12 per hour, as recent pay hikes offer little respite against soaring inflation, a trade union has urged.
In recent weeks, several large employers have hiked wages for shop floor and warehouse staff.
Supermarket giant Tesco will raise hourly wages by 5.8 per cent from £9.55 to £10.10 this summer, with a 68p premium for London workers.
Sainsbury’s also said it will invest £100m into staff pay, with basic hourly pay of at least £10. Pay for Sainsbury’s and Argos store workers is to increase to £11.05 for inner London and £10.50 in outer London.
However, retail union Usdaw said this was not enough against a backdrop of skyrocketing living costs. Instead, the union will now ask companies to offer a minimum wage of at least £12, as a step towards £15.
In a vote at the union’s annual delegate meeting in Blackpool this weekend, Usdaw delegates voted unanimously to up the union’s ask from £10 an hour previously.
Usdaw general secretary, Paddy Lillis, said: “I know there are some workplaces where we haven’t quite yet made it to £10. However, it is entirely right to recognise that times have moved on. Now, with inflation soaring, the cost of everyday items increasing and energy bills skyrocketing, the call of £10 per hour needs to be refreshed.
“So we need to adjust our ask. To once again be bold and set a target that will not only inspire members and reps, but will make a real difference to their lives and their standard of living. £12 an hour as a step towards £15 per hour, is a figure we can build a campaign around. A figure we can take into our pay negotiations, take into Parliament and take into our discussions with the Low Pay Commission.”