GMB North West & Irish Region
3 June 2014


Roadshow shows that public support NEXT paying wages and enough hours of work for people to live on and as a starting point paying £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London says GMB

GMB, the union for retail workers, held a public protest today (Monday 2nd

June) outside NEXT Liverpool store for a living wage which coincided with a national tour by Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott in the city on 1st June.

Liverpool is the final leg in a GMB national road show that took in nine cities in Great Britain including Newcastle on Tyne, Glasgow, Salford, Leeds, Bristol, Sheffield, Birmingham, Hull and Liverpool as the Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott tour travelled across the country.

GMB is campaigning for NEXT to pay wages and enough hours of work for people to live on. GMB is seeking as a starting point £7.65 per hour and

£8.80 per hour in London. NEXT employ 50,000 workers at over 500 stores, call centres and warehouses in the UK and Ireland

GMB has supported the national tour by Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott tour during May and June. Paul headed up the Housemartins and together they headed up the Beautiful South in the 1980's and 1990's. They will play at the GMB 125th birthday party at GMB Congress In Nottingham on 9th June.

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 is generating more cash than can be invested in the business so it will pay a special £300m pay out to shareholders.

NEXT currently pay £6.33 per hour to those 21 and over and £5.47 to those aged 18 to 20. GMB is aware of that many jobs are for12.5 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. Staff hourly rates will also increase by 37p from 1st June. This will leave the majority of staff well below a living wage of £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London.

GMB presented ASBOs to store managers for failing to make work pay for Next workers.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for retail staff, said “GMB call that NEXT pay wages and enough hours of work for people to live on got massive support all around the country. The public support that as a starting point they pay £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London.

The public were unaware of the special £300m pay out to shareholders and supported it being spend instead to offer jobs with longer hours per week and to pay staff a living wage.

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.

That NEXT is over-subscribed when it offers a job is a reflection on the level of youth unemployment not that NEXT jobs are so good.

GMB is grateful to Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott for their support on the stage and on the streets to get this message across.”