Workers on the store floor are tired of making less per hour than their coworkers in the supermarket’s chain of warehouses. They are now pushing for both groups to get the same pay.
Sainsbury’s workers are one step closer to getting a raise after the store said their jobs are just as hard as those of better-paid warehouse workers.
People who work in Sainsbury’s distribution centers can make between £1.50 and £4 more per hour than those who stack shelves or work at the registers.
This means that each job pays thousands of pounds more than the other.
The 3,714 people who work at Sainsbury’s have filed equal value claims against the store, saying that their jobs are just as hard as those in delivery centers.
Ann Gris, whose real name is not Ann, works at Sainsbury’s. She is one of the people working for better pay.
Gris, who is from Yorkshire, said, “Asking for recognition for that is not a big ask, and this helps a little bit.”
“Sainsbury’s has a responsibility to listen to its workers, and they say that’s what they’re doing. But sometimes you have to work hard to be heard, and it can be hard to talk about problems in a way that will be taken seriously.
It’s hard to go through all of this knowing that we get paid less than people who work in delivery centers. I think they don’t have the same stresses that we do.”
This is the first step they are taking to fight for fair pay.
Now, the supermarket has to show that the difference in pay isn’t because of gender or that the two jobs aren’t similar in value.
The Sainsbury’s workers are being helped by the law company Leigh Day.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said, “We will continue to fight hard for our position in this lawsuit because we still believe that roles in stores and depots are fundamentally different.”
“At Sainsbury’s, we’re proud of our long-term commitment to fair pay for men and women, and we pay our employees based on their job, not their gender. Men and women are paid the same amount per hour in our shops. Men and women are also paid the same at our stores. It’s wrong to say otherwise.”
But the problem that people who work in the store don’t get as much pay as other people who work in the same supermarket is much bigger than that.
Leigh Day is also helping workers at Morrisons and the Co-op in cases that are similar to this one.
Also, in June, thousands of Tesco workers who were fighting for fair pay won a court case.
At the time, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said that workers can compare what they do to what someone else does.
This is true if the difference in pay can be fixed by a single source, like a grocery store.
Mike Keenan, a member of Leigh Day’s employment team, said, “This is a big deal for Sainsbury’s store workers and a real reason to celebrate.
“Now that Sainsbury’s finally agrees that workers on the store floor compare their jobs to those in delivery centers, we can focus on what these claims are really about: whether the work is worth the same amount.
“Leigh Day thinks so, and we’re sure the employment tribunal will agree with them.”
Two weeks ago, The Mirror claimed that hundreds of convenience stores across the UK are running out of food because lorry drivers threatened to stop working for Tesco because of a difference in pay.
HGV drivers at Booker wholesalers, which is run by Tesco and serves Londis and Budgens, complained about a $5 pay raise that was given to some workers in July.
Union Unite said that Tesco gave drivers at its Booker plant in Hemel Hempstead a pay raise of £5 per hour, but it didn’t do the same for HGV drivers at its Thamesmead site.
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