Students tell Croydon retailers to ‘Stop Scrooging’ and pay the Living Wage

Croydon students told big retailers in Croydon this week to ‘Stop Scrooging’ and pay the Living Wage this Christmas. The students, from Coulsdon College who are working with Croydon Citizens, a local alliance of schools, colleges, and faith and community groups, swapped pricing labels in four of the largest retailers on North End (Debenhams, M&S, Sports Direct and Primark) with labels calling on the stores to pay the Living Wage.

Karyn Storey, a student at Coulsdon College, said

“It’s simple: companies that can afford to pay the Living Wage should pay the Living Wage. We hope large retailers in Croydon give the gift of fair wages to their employees this Christmas so they can afford to enjoy the holidays.”

Photos of the replacement labels were tweeted with the hashtag #StopScrooging. The ‘Stop Scrooging’ campaign, led by national community organising charity Citizens UK and ShareAction, calls on Britain’s top 12 retailers to pay the Living Wage which is £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the UK.

Saima Samad, a student at Coulsdon College, said

“With Croydon set to become the retail capital of London, young people in the borough have a key interest in retail jobs paying decent wages. That’s why we’re so supportive of the #StopScrooging campaign to get big retailers such as Primark, Debenhams, M&S, and Sports Direct to pay the Living Wage – it would be absolutely unjust and a form of exploitation otherwise.”

Over the past three years, more than 1000 employers, including 19 of the FTSE 100 have committed to provide the Living Wage to all their staff, but retailers have lagged behind. Retail is responsible for 28% of the more than 5 million workers in the UK paid less than a Living Wage.

Students at Coulsdon College regularly take action in and around their community through Croydon Citizens. Pius Ofori, of Coulsdon College said

 “We are constantly doing things like this. As the current Coulsdon College student union president, I believe that through action we are able to develop leaders and have an impact on our community”.

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