Waterstones booksellers will hand in their real living wage petition to the chain's flagship London store this afternoon (8th April), as more than 9,000 people back the campaign.
9,294 people signed April Newton’s petition calling for Waterstones booksellers to be paid the real living wage of £10.55 an hour for the Greater London area and £9 an hour for the rest of the UK, with more than 2,400 authors and industry figures, including David Nicholls and Kerry Hudson, signing an open letter to Daunt.
Booksellers will hand in the petition to head office at Waterstones Piccadilly and hope to present present m.d. James Daunt with a book of staff experiences of living on a low wage.
Daunt has warned the company’s future is not yet secure and says the row has "obscured" an improving situation at the chain.
In 2018, one year after returning to profit, Waterstones paid more than £55million in wages. Waterstones' latest results showed the chain struggled for growth in the year to end April 2018, with the management team said to be distracted by the sale of the business which saw US private equity group Elliott buy Waterstones from the Russian investor Alexander Mamut immediately after the financial year closed.
The minimum wage in the UK for under 25s currently stands at £7.70 per hour, with the national living wage, calculated at 55% of medium earnings, set at £8.21 for over 25s.
The calculation for the real living wage, according to The Real Living Wage Foundation, is made according to the cost of living, based on a basket of household goods and services with a separate higher rate for London.
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