The John Lewis Partnership faces staff unrest amid complaints of “poverty wages” and tensions over the suspension of bonuses as it attempts a radical turnaround.
Some John Lewis and Waitrose employees claimed they receive less than the “real living wage” of £9.50 per hour, or £10.85 in London, and have struggled financially as a result.
Disgruntled workers shared letters describing financial difficulties and have launched a open petition via the Organise platform urging the firm to review their rates. The campaign, which claims one in five John Lewis workers do not receive the real living wage has attracted nearly 30,000 signatories.
The real living wage is not an official figure but a campaign supported by charities and some employers. The left-leaning economic think-tank the Resolution Foundation supplies the campaign with calculations based on living costs.
The petition says: “The John Lewis Partnership prides itself (and sells itself) on being employee-owned, which is supposed to make it a fairer, more ethical business.
“There’s nothing fair or ethical about paying your employees less than a living wage. The Partnership must change this and pay all Partners what we deserve.”