Aldi supermarket chain to raise wages for British workers

Workers to receive 9.45 pounds (C$19.09) per hour

LONDON (Reuters) — Aldi, one of Britain's fastest growing supermarket chains, has become the latest retailer to increase pay for store staff to above the compulsory level to be introduced by the government next year.

The German company said on Monday that from February it would raise its minimum wage to 8.40 pounds (C$16.97) an hour, with workers in London to receive at least 9.45 pounds (C$19.09) an hour.

Aldi joins a growing list of retailers which have pledged to increase wages including German rival Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Starbucks.

The new levels are above a compulsory "national living wage" which the British government is introducing next April for workers aged over 25.

Around 5,000 workers will benefit from the new rate, particularly its stock assistants and caretakers, which represents a salary rise of around 16 per cent. The company employs around 28,000 people in Britain.

Its store assistants in Britain are already paid at least 8.15 pounds (C$16.47) an hour, which is above the current compulsory level set out by British finance minister George Osborne in July of 7.20 pounds (C$14.55) an hour.

Clothing retailer Next, Costa Coffee owner Whitbread and pub chain Wetherspoon's have all warned about the higher costs stemming from the government's wage policy.

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