Bassetlaw MP urges firms to pay 'fair wage' as workers walk out at B&Q's Worksop distribution centre

Brendan Clarke-Smith has urged companies to pay a wage that reflects the cost of living as union members continue to strike over pay row at the B&Q distribution centre in Worksop.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 12:57 pm

Union members at the distribution centre have been on strike since November over a pay row after it was alleged some workers have been made ‘reliant on food banks’ and ‘unable to heat their homes’.

One B&Q warehouse worker revealed it is ‘very difficult to get by’. She said: “I’m watching my kids outgrow their clothes and we’re constantly looking for second hand ones.

“I can’t take them on days out, we have to limit time in the shower, and they have to put extra clothes on so we keep the heating bills down.

Credit Mark Harvey

“With inflation and gas bills going up, if my wages stay this low, we’re going to be in real trouble.”

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Around 450 Wincanton staff are striking at Worksop over pay that is at the lowest £9.96 an hour.

The current National Living Wage is £8.91 and is to be increased by 6.6 per cent in April 2022 to £9.50 an hour.

Credit Mark Harvey

The workers have recently escalated the industrial action to an all-out strike, which is said to be impacting B&Q store deliveries nation-wide.

Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, Paresh Patel, said: “Our members hope that as their MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith will support their struggle for a decent pay rise – one that will allow them to keep their heads above water.

“They just want a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work - a wage that allows them to live their lives without constant money worries.

“After being elected on a promise to help working people and level up former mining communities, now is the time for Mr Clarke-Smith to step up and not stay silent.”

Credit Mark Harvey

In response, Mr Clarke-Smith said: “I would encourage all employers to pay a fair wage for the job people are doing, which reflects both the value of the work undertaken and the cost of living.

“I’d like to invite anybody wishing to look for work or who feels like a change to my jobs fair, held in partnership with JobCentre Plus, at Worksop Masonic Hall on Friday, January 28.”

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