Thousands of Tesco salaried workers forced to cut their wages in real terms | Tesco

Thousands of Tesco staff have been forced to take a big pay cut in real terms as the supermarket puts pressure on store managers while offering bigger pay rises for low-paid workers.

In the latest pay battle amid a cost of living crisis, the retailer’s team managers, who earn around £30,000 a year, say they have received just a 3% pay rise. The official inflation rate is close to 10% and is expected to reach 11% this month.

The managers, about 6,500 of whom oversee store staff, say the real pay cut came as they saw a big increase in their workload after being asked to manage far more people due to job cuts.

A team manager told the Guardian they now have responsibility for more than 20 workers compared to around seven five years ago.

“We all feel very disappointed. “Tesco publicly say they understand how their colleagues are struggling, but they seem to be excluding a whole section of store staff,” said a group manager.

Others said, in messages seen by the Guardian, that their workload had increased as they had to cover for staff who were sick because there were not enough staff to cover overtime. “We’re in the trenches and it’s like a fight to survive,” said one, while another said: “I’m exhausted.”

Daniel Adams, national officer of the Usdaw shop union, said:[We have] we have consistently raised the issue of pay for staff at Tesco and are pushing the business to do more for these colleagues too, given the extent and depth of the cost of living crisis.

“We are continuing to take members’ feedback to the business and will discuss the situation further with the business at our next national consultation meeting.”

A Tesco spokesman said the company was working hard to support staff across the business. “In comparison we pay all roles at Tesco to ensure they are competitive against the market and we are also mindful of the wider financial pressures our colleagues face.

“Our team managers do a great job, every day, and in addition to their pay rise this year, they also received a 4.5% bonus in May. We are currently speaking to both colleagues and our union representatives to understand how we can further support these colleagues.”

The company is also understood to have recently introduced ‘shift leaders’ to help with some of the managers’ duties.

A team captain said the change had been made as a cheaper alternative to having more managers. They added that the bonus was subject to high levels of tax because it was a one-off payment, and was also entirely at Tesco’s discretion, so it was not as reliable as regular pay.

The actual pay cut for the company’s salaried employees came after a much-hyped series of pay rises for staff on hourly contracts.

The supermarket said earlier this week that from November 13, the basic hourly wage in Tesco stores will rise by 20p to £10.30 (or £10.98 in London), taking the overall pay rise this year to 8%.

Those in the group’s wholesaler Booker will get a 25p an hour rise to a minimum of £10.

Tesco is also bringing its next pay review to January, about three months earlier than usual, so hourly workers are likely to see another pay rise in the spring rather than August.

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