Tesco's Women retail workers deserve equal pay for equal work!
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My name is *Karen, I'm 41 and have worked for Tesco Stores as a General assistant for over 16 years.
The literature below spells out why I vehemently believe that Tesco will have their own case to answer when they are also taken to an Employment Tribunal in due course. If we carry out comparable work to our male counterparts who work at our Distribution Centres, we should earn the same money. This is the 21st Century and not the 18th Century!
[Background extracts taken from Leigh Day.co.uk]
14 October 2016
Recently, an Employment tribunal has ruled that,
‘lower paid women who work in UK’s Asda stores can compare themselves to higher paid men who work in ASDA’s distribution centres’ (Supermarket worker)
An employment tribunal in Manchester ruled that lower paid women who work in Asda stores can compare themselves to higher paid men who work in ASDA’s distribution centres. The judgment followed a hearing at Manchester Employment Tribunal which took place in June last year. The decision by Employment Judge Ryan will allow over 7,000 store workers to proceed with their claims for equal pay against Asda in the UK’s largest ever private sector equal pay claim.
Law firm Leigh Day are currently representing former and current employees of the supermarket chain, mostly female, who feel they have been paid less than others within the organisation despite carrying out roles of equal value.
Asda had initially tried to stop the claims from proceeding in the employment tribunal, arguing that they should be heard in the High Court, however, the Court of Appeal ruled that the employment tribunal is the appropriate place for the women’s claims to proceed.
Employment Judge Ryan ruled after a two week hearing that the predominantly female store workforce can compare themselves to male colleagues.
The claims against Asda brought by Leigh Day could see workers recovering over £100 million going back to 2002 and may now be followed by new claims from workers awaiting this judgment.
Lauren Lougheed a lawyer in the employment team at Leigh Day, who is representing the Asda claimants, said:
“This is a dramatic victory for the workers we represent. Asda tried to argue that because the shops and distribution centres were in different locations, with different pay arrangements, that Asda could pay the men what they like.
“However, the employment tribunal found that Asda, the employer of both men and women, could have made sure that there was equal pay between men and women if they wanted to, but chose not to.
Michael Newman, a partner in the employment team at Leigh Day, said:
“In the stores women are more routinely employed as check-out staff and shelf-stackers. Those employed in the warehouses are pretty much all men. As a whole, the group that is mostly men gets paid more. We say this cannot be lawful.
"We believe that the jobs are comparable. To take one example: warehouse staff are responsible for picking items off shelves, putting them on pallets and loading them into lorries. In the stores, they do the reverse: taking the pallets off the lorries, unstacking them and putting the items on the shelves. While the jobs are not identical, we say they are of equal value.
“This judgment will have far reaching implications on other supermarket equal pay claims including those we are bringing on behalf of around 400 Sainsbury’s workers who are in a similar situation.”
As an employee of Tesco I feel strongly that my case is as valid as my female counterparts at Asda, or indeed any other store worker in a similar position. Why should I undertake comparable work to that of my male colleagues who work in Tesco distribution centres, yet earn considerably less?
I urge you to sign this petition to show your support for ALL the female workers of this country!
*I am writing this petition under a pseudonym to protect myself at work.
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