Lying supermarket bosses still raking it in

Sainsbury’s has boasted that it is lowering prices and raising pay. Newspapers owned by Reach PLC, like the Coventry Telegraph and Media Wales, have proclaimed that Sainsbury’s is putting “customers ahead of profit”. What a blatant bit of bosses’ propaganda!

No supermarket is “putting customers ahead of profit”!

Sainsbury’s is gambling that lowering prices will create a profit, by winning customers from their competitors.

There is no doubt about the motivation of Sainsbury’s bosses. When the supermarket chain was looking to merge with Asda only a couple of years ago, Sainsbury’s CEO was caught singing: “We’re in the money”, to himself before an interview about it. Around that time, bosses were trying to force new contracts on workers that actually cut pay elements.

Today, pay across the whole industry is still sickeningly low, leaving some supermarket workers using foodbanks despite their difficult work during the pandemic. The bosses’ priorities are still their bottom lines, rather than shop workers and supermarket customers.

The capitalist free market delivers some of the lowest wages in the economy for retail workers, while also squeezing suppliers, despite giant profits from industry giants like Sainsbury’s that tempted the Asda merger in the first place.

Lowering prices a little now won’t resolve the cost-of-living crisis they’re helping to cause with low wages. The only way to secure affordable food for all is to take the food industry itself – the supermarkets and big suppliers and distributers – into public ownership to have democratic control over food prices, wages, and production.

Adam Harmsworth, Coventry Socialist Party