'payup' protest at holborn sainsbury's store todayTagged as: living_wage low_pay payup sainsbury's ukuncut workers_struggles
sainsbury's is one of the worst supermaket chains for low pay. it actually pays its poorest staff 75p less than tesco according to 'pay up' activists. so this afternoon, the second of a series of noise protests briefly closed down the store at holborn (near their head office). unidentified security guards assaulted protestors and smashed their loud hailer.
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at 3pm, several activists entered the holborn branch of sainsbury's and attempted to unfurl a large banner while letting shoppers know why through a loud-hailer. the store had organised extra security in preparation for the protest, and many of these were undercover. this meant that despite the fact the protest was entirely peaceful, some unidentified thugs were involved in recklessly using force to grab the megaphone, snatch the banner, and shove protestors and press out of the store. in the process, the megaphone was damaged, one of the protestors was injured when their thumb was pulled backwards, and members of the press were assaulted by unidentified assailants.
two vans of police arrived (with another two stopping nearby), and police advised the store to close while customers were escorted out of a rear door. after a short while, the store re-opened, and security staff checked customers coming in. police actually behaved quite responsibly and kept their distance (giving a brief warning that they would be ensuring there were no breaches of the peace), and the protest continued for a while outside the main doors of the store. lots of leaflets were handed out, and the general reaction of most of the public was supportive.
among the claims of the 'payup' group are:
- sainsbury's have seen 299% profit rises since 2004
- justin king, the CEO has seen his earnings rise 295% since 2004, recently hitting nearly £3.5 million per annum
- the 14 board members' pay has also risen by 246%
- workers on the band 2 rate have seen a nominal £1.36 wage rise between 2004 and 2012. taking inflation into account, their wages are worth 2.5% less than they were in 2004.
the 'payup' slogan plays on sainsbury's own: sainsbury's - try something new today - pay a living wage
they are calling for sainsbury to honour the london living wage of £8.30 per hour. for more information and future actions, see www.payup.org.uk
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