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Paul Heaton Tour Supports NEXT Living Wage

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GMB Support Paul Heaton/Jacqui Abbott 15 Date Uk Tour From 21 Nov To 10 Dec To Put Public Pressure On Next To Pay Staff A Living Wage

NEXT should pay enough hours of work for people to live on and as a first step towards £10 per hour living wage pay £7.85 per hour and £9.20 per hour in London says GMB.

GMB, the union for retail workers, is supporting the second leg a national tour with musician Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott to put public pressure on retailer NEXT to pay staff a living wage of £10 per hour.

GMB is calling on NEXT to pay wages and enough hours of work for people to live on. GMB is seeking as a first step £7.85 per hour and £9.20 per hour in London as a step towards the £10 per hour set by GMB Congress. NEXT employ 50,000 workers at over 500 stores, call centres and warehouses in the UK and Ireland

Paul headed up the Housemartins and Jacqui joined him in the Beautiful South from 1994. The tour kicks off on 21st Nov in Aberdeen, 22nd Newcastle, 23rd Bradford, 24th Blackburn, 26th Nottingham, 27th Cardiff, 28th Wolverhampton, 30th Glasgow, 1st December Warrington, 2nd Leicester, 4th Sheffield, 5th Manchester, 6th Bridlington, 9th Bexhill and 10th December London.

Material on NEXT employment practices will be given to concert goers al all 15 shows. There will also be protests outside four NEXT locations with Paul and Jacqui during the tour. See details below.  There will also be a protest in Yorkshire during the tour.

In March NEXT reported a 12% increase in annual profits to £695m. NEXT says it expects profits in 2014 to rise by up to £770m. NEXT said January that it was generating more cash than can be invested in the business so it paid a special £300m dividend to shareholders.

NEXT currently pay £6.70 per hour to those 21 and over and £5.84 to those aged 18 to 20. GMB is aware of that many jobs are for 12.5 hours per week or less in some stores. Some store staff may get a bonus which the company claim can amount to an additional 4% to 7% on hourly rates. This will leave the majority of staff well below a living wage of £7.85 per hour and £9.20per hour in London.

Details of the protests with Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott outside NEXT are as follows:

Wednesday 26th Nov at 3pm at Units 107-113, Victoria Centre, Nottingham NG1 3QB

Thursday 27th Nov at 3pm at 82/88 Queen Street, Cardiff,CF10 2GR

Friday 28th Nov at 3pm 17-18 Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 3EY

Tuesday 9th Dec at 3pm at 46 Upper Mall, Churchill Square, Brighton, BN1 2TE.

GMB will present an ASBO to store manager for failing to make work pay for Next workers.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for retail staff, said “GMB is calling on a very profitable NEXT to pay wages and enough hours of work for people to live on. GMB is calling on NEXT to pay as a first step £7.85 per hour and £9.20 per hour in London.

GMB members tell us that in their experience you need at least £10 an hour and a full working week to have a decent life free from benefits and tax credits. Less than £10 an hour means just existing not living. It means a life of isolation, unable to socialise. It means a life of constant anxiety over paying bills and of borrowing from friends, family and pay day loan sharks just to make ends meet.

It is time NEXT made work pay. If this was done, staff would not need their meagre wages to be topped up by taxpayers with family tax credits and housing benefits so as to make ends meet.

NEXT says that it is over-subscribed when offering jobs. This is a reflection on the level of youth unemployment across Europe not that NEXT jobs are so good.

That is why GMB is protesting outside NEXT stores as the Paul Heaton tour swings across Britain. GMB continues to presents ASBOs to NEXT because it is an employer that does not face up to its social responsibilities.”

Paul Heaton said "We're proud to support the GMB campaign to give people a living wage. Times are really hard for working people at the moment and as both Jacqui and I started our working lives in poorly paid and undervalued jobs, this campaign is particularly important to us. There are people in employment, working for companies that still make massive profits in these so called times of austerity and they're not receiving a fair or decent wage.

 The GMB campaign is only asking that working people get a living wage in return for their labour. This seems a fair and reasonable request to make to all employers."


Contact: Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237178 or Mick Rix 07971 268343 or Martin Smith 07974 251 823 or for GMB on the tour and the protest organizers outside NEXT 07880 316159 or 07939 975233 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823




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