The Co-Operative Group employs over 70,000 residents of the United Kingdom in its stores and offices, many of whom live or work in my constituency. With living standards dropping; the cost of living rising and employee wages not matching this change, I was shocked to learn that within the Co-Op Group, only Co-op Bank and Credit Union are accredited Living Wage Employers. I am acutely aware of how poorly paid some retail positions are, and it is not difficult to make the link between this and in-work poverty.
I have therefore written to Allan Leighton, the Chair of The Co-Operative Group to urge him to extend the Real Living Wage to the entire organisation. My hope is that his agreement to this request will benefit all workers, including those in Bolton South East. I would also like to commend the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign for all of the hard work they have done thus far to push big businesses towards social responsibility and improved working conditions. You can learn more about their fantastic work here: https://www.gmpovertyaction.org/gmlivingwage/