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Workers at Tate & Lyle Sugars get pay boost as company gains living wage employer status

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 November 2020

Tate & Lyle Sugars is paying all its workers the London living wage. Picture: Ken Mears

Tate & Lyle Sugars is paying all its workers the London living wage. Picture: Ken Mears

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One of the borough’s oldest businesses has committed to paying all its staff “a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work”.

The real living wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. Picture: Ken MearsThe real living wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. Picture: Ken Mears

Tate & Lyle Sugars, which is based in Factory Road, Royal Docks, has announced it has become a living wage employer, meaning every worker receives a minimum £10.85 an hour.

Gerald Mason, senior vice president, said: “Tate & Lyle Sugars is proud to have been formally accredited as a living wage employer.

“It has been the cleaners, security guards and catering staff who have kept our factories clean, safe and well-fed over the last six difficult months.

“We’re pleased to recognise their value and role in helping us feed the nation.”

A warehouse at the Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery, Silvertown. Picture: Isabel InfantesA warehouse at the Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery, Silvertown. Picture: Isabel Infantes

The new rate is higher than the government’s minimum for over 25s which stands at £8.72 per hour.

The company, which dates back to 1878, also doubled a funding pot to £50,000 to support not-for-profit organisations in Newham.

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The living wage movement has seen 250,000 people get a pay rise with a total of £1.3billion added to low paid workers’ pockets. The Living Wage Foundation oversees the accreditation.

Pupils from St Antony's Catholic primary school have been active in campaigns to encourage more employers to pay a living wage. Picture: Caroline TeoPupils from St Antony's Catholic primary school have been active in campaigns to encourage more employers to pay a living wage. Picture: Caroline Teo

Its director, Laura Gardiner, said: “We’re delighted Tate & Lyle Sugars has joined the movement.

“The additional support of the real living wage will help their workers to better support themselves and loved ones through this pandemic.”

Tate & Lyle Sugars joins hundreds of organisations in east London including Community Links, Anchor House, West Ham United and London Stadium.

“These businesses recognise that paying the real living wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Tate & Lyle Sugars, believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay,” Laura said.

A 2019 Office for National Statistics report shows 33.8 per cent of jobs in Newham pay less than the real living wage.

The wage is the only one calculated according to the costs of living and provides a voluntary benchmark.

Tate & Lyle Sugars is now working with community organiser Newham Citizens and the Living Wage Foundation to increase the number of accredited living wage employers in Royal Docks.

Caroline Verdant of St Antony’s Catholic Primary, whose pupils campaign on the issue, said: “The real living wage is one way businesses can support people and build back better to ensure the economic growth of our borough and secure our children’s future.”


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