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For living wage to be meaningful Lidl must increase workers' hours - Senator Cullinane

8 October, 2015 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin’s Workers Rights spokesperson David Cullinane has given a guarded welcome to  Lidl’s decision to sign up to the Living Wage campaign. Speaking after the supermarket chain gave a commitment to pay its staff a minimum rate of €11.50 an hour, Senator Cullinane said:

“A pay rise for low paid staff is always welcome. But for this announcement to be meaningful Lidl must ensure staff have sufficient hours of work each week.

“The Living Wage is calculated on a weekly basis and a rise of €11.50 an hour is virtually meaningless for workers who currently have just 3 or 5 hours work a week.

“If today’s announcement is to mean anything workers must have their hours increased.

“As Mandate Trade Union has noted there is a big difference between an hourly rate and a guaranteed living weekly wage. 

 “The living wage is calculated on the basis of a 39 hour week (€450 per week) but if workers at Lidl or any other company don’t have enough hours then the Living Wage concept becomes meaningless.  

 “What workers need is decent pay and decent working conditions and these cannot be separated from each other.

“All workers should be treated with respect and dignity and employers need to recognise that work must pay.

“I urge management at Lidl to engage with Mandate Trade Union as soon as possible to make a genuine living wage a reality for its workers”.  

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