Marks & Spencer - commit to a Living Wage for UK workers

Chain store Marks & Spencer have committed to providing a living wage for factory workers in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India in 2015. Their Ethical Factory Model has led to fairly significant wage rises in some plants. It is great that they are showing the industry that you can have a successful business and pay your workers enough to live on. However, they still don't pay many workers in the UK a Living Wage.

In the M&S 2014 AGM they were asked to commit to a living wage for Londoners but gave a very weak response, "The definition of a living wage is subject to discussion. We cannot give you a commitment here today, however, we continue to have a dialogue with a number of groups..."

I believe this is not good enough. I disagree with their excuse that the living wage is subject to discussion. The Living Wage Foundation works with expert researchers to determine this figure — a bare minimum required to have an acceptable standard of living in our society. Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society.

M&S claim to have "a competitive pay package for our employees". The fact that competitors are also paying low wages doesn't help workers.

M&S claim that their "commitment to the welfare of our employees remains as strong as ever". Please sign now to demand that M&S show this commitment in real terms — by paying their employees a living wage in the UK.

The Living Wage for 2016 is set at £8.25 per hour and £9.40 per hour in London.
Update #82 years ago
M&S have made some positive announcements about plans to increase their workers' wages in 2017. If you work for M&S, please fill out this form so that we can get in touch with you directly. We'd like to know what M&S workers think about this.
Update #72 years ago
M&S has a new CEO - Steve Rowe. Please welcome him to his new role by letting him know we're counting on him to introduce a REAL living wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation, for M&S workers. Click here to tweet this to M&S
Update #62 years ago
We met M&S last Thursday to chat about the Living Wage. Check out this blog for all the juicy details.

We still have a lot of work ahead before they commit to paying all their workers enough to live on. But the good news is that M&S are definitely starting to realise how important fair pay is, to their customers and shareholders alike. We can’t afford to become complacent now – we're in a strong position, now it's time to really ramp up the pressure!
Update #42 years ago
Last week, Living Wage supporters visited the M&S shop on Oxford St. and spoke with their customers about the real Living Wage. Customers were “shocked and disgusted” to learn the truth. M&S need to hear that this concern matters to their bottom line. You and I have spoken up, and now you can make sure M&S hears the same from the investors who really own the company. Thank you!
Update #22 years ago
We've had a disappointing response from M&S. Please go and comment on their Facebook posts what you think of this. My reply: your response to 50,000 people signing a Care2 petition demanding you pay the #livingwage is disappointing. Your failure to pay your staff enough to live on does not reflect your claims that your employees are important to you - in fact it says quite the opposite.
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