Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane joined fellow Labour MPs this week to launch a Band Aid-type protest single to draw attention to the pay cuts for workers this Christmas.
The MPs say the single called “National Living Rage” is aimed at highlighting how some employers such as Tesco and John Lewis are cutting total pay for employees while increase per-hour pay since the introduction of the National Living Wage earlier this year.
It is claimed the cuts have been made by many British companies around the country, through ending old contracts, with short ‘show’ consultations, and issuing new contracts, with reduced pay packages.
The contract changes include: termination of double time on Sundays, Bank Holidays; elimination of ‘unsocial’ hours payments; ending the inclusion of lunches in staff contracts; termination of free lunches; pension cuts; abolition of seasonal bonuses; termination of location premiums; abolition of a range of additional allowances; among many other contract changes.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that nearly 9,700 workers from Wythenshawe and Sale East could be affected by the cuts.
Mike Kane said: “We all know the backbone of these companies is their loyal hardworking staff so it is extremely disappointing that some of our most famous and most loved high street companies are choosing to cut the total pay of their older, longstanding staff.
“I am calling on companies like Tesco and John Lewis who employ many people from my constituency to reverse their decision to cut staff pay in this unscrupulous manner at their January 2017 Board Meetings.
“Our campaign song is to make sure everyone knows about the pay cuts in their shops and coffee shops. It is not a charity single, although we are glad that proceeds from any sales of the original record will go the Band Aid Trust. Shopworkers want justice and fair pay, not charity”
A Tesco spokesperson said, “Earlier this year, we announced one of the highest pay and benefits packages in retail for store colleagues, and introduced a simpler and fairer pay structure, including one approach to premium payments.
“As well as an increase in pay which puts our hourly rate well above the Government’s National Living Wage, we remain absolutely committed to rewarding our colleagues with a pay and benefits package they really value, including a pension, colleague discount and 5% turnaround bonus.”
John Lewis were approached for a comment and have not yet responded.