Group surveys Horsham’s Christmas shoppers on living wage

Members of Living Wage Horsham campaigning outside Horsham  M&S calling on them to pay all staff nothing less than the minimum wage (photo submitted). SUS-151222-161740001
Members of Living Wage Horsham campaigning outside Horsham M&S calling on them to pay all staff nothing less than the minimum wage (photo submitted). SUS-151222-161740001

Living Wage Horsham campaigned on one of the busiest Christmas shopping days of the year by targeting customers at Marks and Spencer Horsham within Swan Walk to talk to them about the pay rates paid by M&S to many of its employees.

The campaign group handed out 600 leaflets in and outside of the store on Saturday morning, 19th of December and spoke to hundreds of customers to explain that M&S is not paying the living wage to many of its staff.

Debbie Bernard (Left) manager of Cook Horsham with her assistant Sam Sanowar (right) receiving their Living Wage Foundation accreditation sticker from Living Wage Horsham (photo submitted). SUS-151222-161716001

Debbie Bernard (Left) manager of Cook Horsham with her assistant Sam Sanowar (right) receiving their Living Wage Foundation accreditation sticker from Living Wage Horsham (photo submitted). SUS-151222-161716001

The group also surveyed many shoppers to find out if they thought M&S should pay the full living wage of £8.25 per hour, as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.

The survey results are one element of a nationwide campaign to ensure that all M&S employees earn as a minimum the living wage.

In January the Living Wage Foundation will be talking to top M&S executives about the results.

Living Wage Horsham is a local group campaigning for more employers in Horsham to pay the living wage.

This is an hourly rate, calculated annually according to the cost of living and promoted by the Living Wage Foundation.

It is currently £8.25 per hour in the UK.

Living Wage Horsham chair David Hide said: “We received a great response from the vast majority of shoppers, most were very surprised to learn that such an iconic great British high street brand wasn’t paying the living wage already.

“We also had the opportunity to meet up with staff from Cook Horsham in the Carfax, who have recently gained Living Wage Foundation accreditation.

“All of their staff over the age of 18 will now be paid a minimum of £8.25 an hour.

“It was a privilege to speak with the manager Debbie Bernard and her assistant Sam Sanowar as we handed over the Living Wage Foundation accredited sticker for their new shop window.”

Other living wage campaign groups around the country were also taking action this week, all coordinated by the Living Wage Foundation.

On Thursday 17th December, Citizens UK and the Living Wage Foundation staged an action at M&S Oxford Street with an ex-worker handing in a Christmas gift for CEO Marc Bolland to call on him to institute the living wage.

Living Wage Foundation Campaign Manager, Emily Kenway, said: “We’re proud to have Living Wage Horsham working with us to call upon M&S to join our 2,000 accredited living wage employers and do the right thing by its valued staff this Christmas.”

If you would like to learn more about Living Wage Horsham email david.hide1@btinternet.com

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