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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2016

Premium pay cuts are not just any cuts, they are M&S cuts

Striking Pennine Foods workers picket Marks and Spencer, May 2016, photo Alistair Tice

Striking Pennine Foods workers picket Marks and Spencer, May 2016, photo Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Usdaw member in East Midlands

Marks & Spencer likes to claim that it's 'Your M&S' but since it only made a paltry 660 million profit in 2015, the company doesn't seem to have enough money to pay its staff a living wage.

Instead workers are being forced to sign a new pay and pensions contract which will mean Sunday, bank holiday and anti-social hours premium pay will be reduced. More than 2,500 shop workers will lose more than 1,000 a year as a result. Staff have been told that these pay cuts will be imposed if they do not voluntarily sign up to these changes.

The retailer said it was making the changes to help pay for a 15% increase in basic pay for its 69,000 workers from next April to 8.50 an hour. There is currently a loophole, which made it possible for companies to make changes to staff benefits in order to offset the impact of the introduction of the legally binding National Living Wage of 7.20 an hour this April.

A number of companies, including B&Q, Tesco and Morrisons, have raised basic pay only to cut perks and premium payments for weekend, holiday or late working.

Socialist Party members in Usdaw say there should be no cuts to pay or benefits for the staff who work in Marks & Spencer, as well as the other companies who are trying to get out of paying their staff the living wage. Instead we demand that the minimum wage should be 10 an hour with no loss of pay or benefits. Only with a fighting union and working class support can this happen.

Usdaw is one of the few unions to back Owen Smith in the Labour leadership election. Leicester Socialist Party campaigned outside Marks & Spencer recently, alongside members of the bakers' union, BFAWU, for a 10 an hour minimum wage. Jeremy Corbyn is echoing this demand.

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In The Socialist 7 September 2016:


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Should socialists give electoral support to Labour right?

#KeepCorbyn: reports from the campaign


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Women lose out in the workplace

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Them & Us

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Organise mass working class resistance to austerity


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: impeachment farce only serves big business

International news in brief


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Junior doctors plan to continue contract struggle

Rail workers fighting back!

Premium pay cuts are not just any cuts, they are M&S cuts

Royal Mail wildcat strike against bullying bosses

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Letter: back the docs!

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The Socialist inbox


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Huge turnout in support of Huddersfield NHS campaign

Grantham on the march against 'life and death' cuts to health service

London fighting fund BBQ success


 

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Related links:

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triangleShop workers hungry for 10 an hour now and an end to zero-hour contracts

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triangleNSSN conference 2018: Mood for fighting action and coordination

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triangleVictory for London's young workers in privatiser's non-payment of 'living wage' scandal

Benefits:

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