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Citizens UK supports ShareAction petition calling on Tesco to pay its staff the Living Wage

ShareAction has launched an online petition asking Tesco, the UK’s biggest private sector employer, to commit to paying staff a Living Wage. The petition, already supported by almost 4,000 people, will be delivered to the Tesco board at its AGM in London on 27 th June.

The petition comes as part of a season of investor activism in support of the Living Wage in the UK operations of the FTSE 100 companies. Amy Bradley, a former Tesco employee, will attend Tesco’s AGM on June 27 to repeat the call for the retail giant to ‘pay fair’ and commit to paying the Living Wage to all staff, including contract cleaners and security guards.

Citizens UK and ShareAction have previously asked Tesco to put its ‘Every Little Helps’ slogan into practice when it comes to ensuring no full-time staff are forced to live below the poverty line.

ShareAction CEO, Catherine Howarth, says:

‘Tesco has, so far, failed to commit to the Living Wage, insisting that its benefit package ensures no employee is condemned to poverty, but pension contributions can’t be used to pay the rent and discount vouchers can’t be used to heat family homes. Tesco has often been accused of putting profit before people. This is an opportunity for the company to answer its critics and, as the UK’s largest private sector employer, set an example for the retail sector.”

Citizens UK's Stefan Baskerville said:

“With over half the families living in poverty being in-work, it’s no surprise that low pay remains on the Citizens UK agenda. More than 700 organisations are accredited Living Wage employers. They have recognised that the Living Wage is not only the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense. Working with ShareAction we are calling on Tesco to consider how implementation of the Living Wage could help tackle in-work poverty for their lowest paid staff. The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”


  • The Living Wage is the minimum hourly rate necessary for housing, food and other basic needs. In London, that rate is currently £8.80 per hour; outside London, it is £7.65.
  • Accredited Living Wage employers ensure all their own staff receive at least the Living Wage and work towards securing the Living Wage for all their contractors.
  • Over the past decade, the Living Wage has lifted 45,000 families out of working poverty.
  • ShareAction is a UK-based NGO campaigning for responsible investment by pension funds and other institutional investors. ShareAction demands transparency and accountability to the millions of people with savings managed by investment professionals.

To lend your voice to the call for Tesco to ‘pay fair’ visit

Posted on 18 Jun, 2014