Sainsbury’s ups London staff pay to almost £12 per hour as union slams rival Asda for not following suit


ainsbury’s has unveiled its biggest ever pay rise for employees as part of a £200 million investment as supermarkets battle to retain staff amid labour shortages blighting the retail and hospitality sectors.

The firm is set to boost minimum pay by 10% against last year to £11 per hour across the UK, while staff in London will see their hourly wages rise to £11.95.

Sainsbury’s will also extend its offer of free food to staff during shifts by a further six months, while employees at Sainsbury’s-owned Argos will get extended staff discounts.

Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts said: “We are acutely aware of how tough things are for millions of households this winter and we know that particularly after Christmas, budgets will be tighter than ever.

“As well as doing all we can to keep prices low for customers, it’s our job to support our colleagues as they face rising costs.

“This is a massive investment that reflects the real challenges our people are facing right now. I’m really pleased that the progress we are making against our strategy means that we can continue to prioritise investing in colleagues to reward them for the fantastic service they deliver every day.”

The increase in pay has added further pressure to supermarket rivals Asda, who have yet to announce a pay rise for staff facing cost-of-living pressures.

Asda staff receive £10.10 per hour, the lowest paid of the big 4 and one of the lowest paying retailers overall, according to the GMB union. Workers in London receive £11.27.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “If it’s good enough for Sainsburys workers why is it not good enough for Asda workers?

“They keep getting it wrong on pay – because they aren’t listening to its workers and instead agree the pay rates in an echo chamber.”

A spokesperson from Asda said: “We have increased retail colleague pay twice during the last 12 months and will confirm our new pay rates for 2023 to colleagues during Q1, following the outcome of negotiations with USDAW where we have a pay bargaining agreement”.

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