UK bookstore chain Waterstones says it can't pay living wage

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UK bookstore chain Waterstones says it can't pay living wage

Mar 26 2019

More than 1,300 writers including Kerry Hudson, David Nicholls, Sally Rooney, Michael Rosen and Val McDermid have backed a campaign for Waterstones booksellers to be paid the living wage.

The support follows a petition from staff at Waterstones, signed by more than 6,000 people, which calls on the book chain’s managing director, James Daunt, to pay booksellers a starting living wage of £9 an hour, or £10.55 for the Greater London area...

...In an open reply to Hudson, Daunt said the writers were “preach[ing] to the converted”, but that the book chain could not yet afford a pay increase, two years after returning to profit. .... “If you raise the bottom level really significantly, then everybody all the way up the company has to go up, and then we go bust, which isn’t very helpful ... If we were to move to a significantly higher starting rate, then we would have to take that money from our more experienced booksellers, or cut costs in another dramatic way. We’re simply not profitable enough to wave the magic wand and shower gold all around.”

Source: The Guardian

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