Sainsbury’s is offering its lowest-paid store workers pay hikes, free meals and more discounts to support them amid the rising cost of living.
The supermarket chain has announced a £25m staff support scheme where £20 million of the funds be utilised for raising pay for its 127,000 hourly paid workers.
They will receive a 25p an hour hike to £10.25, with the rate for its London store workers rising from £11.05 to £11.30.
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From the first week of October to the end of December, the retailer will also supply basic food items such as toast, soup, and porridge in the staff canteens.
Workers are also eligible for 10 percent off on groceries and in the supermarket’s sister chain Argos throughout the year.
However, they will have more options to save 15 percent and 20 percent in the run-up to Christmas.
The salary investment, along with the hundreds of millions of pounds invested into limiting food price hikes in its stores, will have an impact on profits this year.
Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts said: “Every day I am hearing from colleagues who are really feeling the pressures of the rising cost of living.
“That’s why we are doing everything we can to help our colleagues as they face rising bills and living costs this autumn.
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“This is the first time we have given two pay rises in the same year.”
With some economists worried that Britain might get locked in a “wage-price spiral” akin to the 1970s, Aldi has also implemented two wage rises this year in the face of tight competition for employees.
Roberts added: “We have 127,000 people that get up every day, often in the middle of the night, to get our stores and operations ready for customers.
“We need to support them as we go into this winter period. Therefore we made the choice to bring forward this pay increase to now.”
With budgets tightening, customers are switching to supermarket own-label products, with the urge to save money fueling sales at discounter Aldi, which has surpassed Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket.
Roberts said Sainsbury’s was holding its own in difficult trade conditions, and the retailer has invested £65 million to ensure its rates remain competitive in September.
Source: The Guardian
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