(Bloomberg) – J Sainsbury Plc advises shareholders to vote against a proposal that would force the UK’s second-largest grocer to commit to a wage calculated by a campaign agency.
More than 100 investors, including HSBC Holdings PLC, Legal and General Investment Management and Fidelity International, claimed in March that Sensbury recognized itself with the Living Wages Foundation, which set the minimum hourly rate required to meet workers’ basic needs next year. . The proposal will be put to a vote at the annual meeting in July.
Sainsbury’s has already begun paying the foundation’s so-called “real-life wages” to all of its employees earlier this month. Moody’s says forcing it to become a recognized living wage employer would hand over too much control to a third party at a time when the country is facing a cost of living.
In a letter to investors this week, Chairman Martin Sickluna said that grocers spend 4 4 billion ($ 5 billion) a year on staff salaries – the single largest operating expense – and that flexibility is needed to manage those costs.
“As a business that makes about 3p per 1, we need to carefully consider all our investment decisions and balance the needs of our customers, our colleagues and our shareholders,” he wrote in the letter.
The current real-life wage rate is .0 11.05 ($ 13.79) in London and slightly lower outside the UK capital. Although half of the FTSE-100 are recognized by the Company Foundation, none of the UK supermarket operators have yet signed up. It is not universally accepted as the minimum required for survival.
Rising inflation in the UK means the end of decades of super-cheap food
Supermarkets have plunged into the highest inflation since the 1980s, trying to keep prices low, invest online and reward their employees accordingly. Sainsbury’s, which employs 189,000 people, expects profits to decline this year as buyers are overwhelmed by high costs, including food, energy and gasoline.
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