Waterstone's in pay row with 'legacy' staff

Waterstone's in pay row with 'legacy' staff

Waterstone's has refused 100 of its longest-serving staff a pay rise given to the rest of the company.

The bookselling chain wrote to 100 staff on a "legacy contract" last Friday (26th August) informing them that they would not receive a 3% payrise promised to all 4,000 employees unless they sign the newest contract, which does not allow staff automatic bank holidays.

Some legacy staff have reacted angrily to Daunt's letter, which said employees on different contracts were an "unwelcome complication" and a "running sore". 

One employee, who has been working for the company for over a decade, said: "The tone of the letter is insulting, rude, partisan and in my view markedly depreciatory of a group of loyal and substantially long-serving employees of the company—some going back as far as the Dillons ownership. It is not only the old contract people that this has caused outrage to—even people on the new contract are aghast at its insulting tone."

Meanwhile, Waterstone's is also thought to be carrying out margin negotiations with publishers, with one option being put forward to have a flat-rate promotional discount which demands no extra payment from publishers for promotions. However, one publisher told The Bookseller: "[Daunt] is asking for people to make him an offer—nothing is set in stone."