Sep 18th, 2015
Aldi: please pay the Living Wage
By Rebecca Falcon
*Update: Aldi have now said they’re engaging in talks with the Living Wage Foundation about paying their staff a Living Wage. Let’s keep up the pressure so that these talks result in change!
Rock bottom wages mean thousands of people working in supermarkets still struggle to pay their rent, bills and buy healthy food for their families. But there’s good news, this morning, the supermarket Lidl kicked this unfair trend – and promised to pay a staff a fair wage. Together, let’s make sure others follow their lead.
Low-cost supermarket Aldi is Lidl’s closest competitor. Aldi really care what their customers think – and tout themselves as the UK’s best supermarket. They’re also making good profits – so they could afford to pay their staff more. If enough of us pile in – today – we could persuade Aldi to up their wages to match Lidl’s popular move. Together, the two could lead the way, and get other UK supermark lets competing to follow.
For millions of people, the minimum wage just isn’t enough. At the end of a 40 hour week, many supermarket staff are just scraping by – even as the company’s bosses take home huge pay packets and bonuses. Experts say that a fair wage – also known as a living wage – should be high enough to support a family and maintain a decent standard of living.
Aldi are about to expand massively on high streets across the UK, so right now, they’ll be particularly sensitive to customer opinion. If 38 Degrees members can convince them that they’re being judged on how they treat their employees, they could decide it’s worth it, and pay their staff a fair wage.
38 Degrees members are powerful when we come together. We have a track record of holding big businesses to account – in 2012, we worked fast to make sure Olympic sponsors ditched their plans to dodge tax on their Games profits. And just last year we were part of the campaign for Matalan to cough up compensation money to victims of a disaster in their overseas clothing factories.
Aldi aren’t the only company underpaying out there, of course – but they’re a good place to start. If we can get Aldi to follow their competitor Lidl’s lead, it’ll show up Tesco and Sainsbury’s too.
(The details: From October, Lidl UK employees will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 an hour in London. This is in line with the rate set by the Living Wage Foundation.
The rate is different from the National Living Wage as set out in the Government’s Budget in July, which is set to be £7.20 an hour from April 2016 for people aged over 25.)