Tesco Under Attack

Men and Women’s jobs are of “equal value” according to Pam Jenkins. Of course, they are if they are the same job and both people are equally capable of doing the same job.

According to reports Tesco is facing Britain’s largest ever equal pay claim, which could result in a £4 billion back pay claim.

So how could Tesco be doing this? The claim is that the shop workers should be paid the same as the warehouse workers.

Its not that men in the warehouse are paid more than woman in the warehouse, any female warehouse members of staff are paid the same, its just who wants to work in a warehouse, not many women when compared to men. Its colder, not as sociable and the hours are not as straight forward as working in the shop.

So are men in store paid more than the women instore? No Tesco pays the same for the same job, so the checkout lady earns as much as the checkout man.

So what’s this equal pay claim about?

Is the job of a warehouse person equal to the job of a shop person? Is a warehouse persons job more empowered than a store persons, is it of greater value? The answer is simple, who knows? You can argue it both sides of the coin, yes and no, however they are fundamentally different jobs and in our view its perfectly acceptable to have different pay. If the people in store want to go and work in the warehouse for more money let them when a vacancy comes up. Simple.

Do we have a stronger sex?

The fact is that men are the stronger sex, no you disagree? Then lets just have tennis tournaments, where men and woman compete for one single trophy, and apply this across the sporting board – not many woman would be involved at the higher end of sports. Reality is some jobs are more labour-intensive and hence men’s pay will be more, as their contribution is more, ie output etc will be more than the female. We live in an age where this can be measured, hence no unfairness!

Equal pay for the same job for both sexes for the same level of performance is common sense, the law and is morally the right thing – lets be careful though as the old expression “first amongst equals” comes to mind.

Not Just Tesco in the dock here

If Tesco loses this case we could see more of this type of claim, where say anyone within a large company can claim “equal value” after all if the man in the factory wasn’t pressing that button and making sure the production line was kept going there would be no end product, so he should be paid as much as the salesman for without the factory man the sales man wouldn’t have anything to sell.

Who can decide the value chain and how much value someone adds to it, the market price going for the job is the answer. So if Tesco warehouse jobs are paid more, it’s because the market demands that, it shouldn’t mean that all employees for Tesco should be paid the same!


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