29 June 2011

Good news for many Tesco workers in Cornwall. From next month (July 2011) Tesco will be giving its UK instore customer assistants a pay rise that takes them to over £7 an hour. Customer assistants make up about two thirds of store staff. This pay is noticeably more than the national minimum wage which is currently £5.93 an hour for adults, rising to £6.08 in October. The Tesco pay increase for its customer assistants is pointing in a positive direction and I hope the supermarket will adopt the living wage soon.

Of course there remains the difficulty of low pay for Tesco cleaners employed by and paid by contractors; and £7 an hour is well below the living wage. Nevertheless, well done, Tesco, genuinely helping Cornwall workers and their families in a time of austerity and, through the workers’ spending power, the local economy too. Now let’s see other employers in Cornwall beef up their low pay towards a living wage and using cleaning companies which pay it too.

Is not a Cornwall living wage an issue that the Labour party in Cornwall should be vigorously advancing? Is this not an issue that the local Liberal Democrats, MK, the Greens, the unions, and, remembering Boris Johnson’s sterling support for the London living wage, the Conservatives, should also be pushing? A clear declaration from any of the local groups that they are ambitious for a Cornwall living wage would be a start.

Earlier posts on Cornwall living wage

A living wage for Cornwall 17 May 2011

The pro-Cornish wage 31 August 2010