John Lewis and Co-op latest UK retailers to raise staff pay

Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

John Lewis and Co-op to hike pay by 10%

Move reflects rise in UK minimum wage

Tesco announced rise on Tuesday

Recasts lead to include both John Lewis and Co-op, adds detail paragraphs 2-9

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - The John Lewis Partnership and the Co-op on Wednesday became the latest British retailers to increase staff pay as they react to a rise in the government-mandated minimum wage.

The John Lewis Partnership, which runs John Lewis department stores and the Waitrose supermarket chain, employing 76,000 people, said it would raise its minimum rates of staff pay by 10%, starting April 1, at a cost of 116 million pounds ($148 million).

Its minimum hourly rates will rise to 11.55 pounds across the UK - above the government's national living wage, which will increase by 9.8% to 11.44 pounds an hour.

The partnership's rate for London staff will rise to 12.89 pounds.

The Co-op, which is owned by its members and runs Britain's seventh biggest grocery chain, said it would increase pay for 37,000 store workers by 10.1%.

Its hourly rate will rise to 12.0 pounds, or 13.15 pounds in London.

The Bank of England is keeping a close eye on wage settlements as it assesses the direction of interest rates. It fears rapid wage growth could add more inflationary pressure across the economy.

Worker wages in Britain have only recently begun outpacing inflation, which held steady at 4% in January, still double the central bank's target of 2%.

On Tuesday, TescoTSCO.L, Britain's biggest retailer, announced a 9.1% rise.

Sainsbury'sSBRY.L, Britain's No. 2 supermarket group, No. 3 Asda, Marks & Spencer MKS.L, Amazon AMZN.O, Aldi, Lidl and Costa Coffee have also announced pay rises for 2024.

($1 = 0.7860 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Sachin Ravikumar)


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