Tory peer Simon Wolfson has a nice little earner as Chief Executive of Next stores, with his take home pay and bonuses worth around £1.5m a year added to his £3.1m in company shares. His company recently announced a trading statement which he is also in line to pocket a nice little sum from with their projected profits of £620 million for this year.
All this whilst his workers on the shop floor earn the national minimum wage of just £6.19 an hour.
GMB's analysis of profits and wages in the retail sector released at Manchester's Labour Party conference this week concluded that Next was among the worst offenders for low pay in the retail sector, whilst the company rakes in hundreds of millions of pounds a year in profits.
GMB Trade union activists launched a protest outside the clothes shop in Manchester warning their "greedy" chief executive that they were not giving up the fight for a living wage and will continue their protest against the shopclerks' minimum wage pay.
GMB regional secretary in the north-west Paul McCarthy said it was nothing short of a scandal and demanded a living wage of at least £7.20 an hour for all its staff.
"There is no excuse for this absolute greed."
"GMB calls on Next to pay their staff a living wage of £7.20 an hour which it can easily afford and allow its staff a decent quality of life. This would help reflate the economy as well."
Next has nearly 50,000 employees at over 500 stores, with call centres and warehouses in Britain and Ireland, and was a recent supplier of clothing to the London 2012 Olympics.
Graham Williamson of Solidarity said:
"In August Next advertised jobs for young warehouse workers in Yorkshire for as little as £4.42 per hour for people aged 16 and 17 and £2.60 an hour for apprentices.
GMB Union researchers reported Next's "super profits" of 17.5p for every pound spent in its shops‚ while the average wages for its staff are less than £9,571 per worker per year.
We are completely behind the GMB campaign. Next need to face up to their social responsibilities or people should consider whether they really want to give custom to them."