Young Co-op shop workers will receive the new National
Minimum Wage youth rate after an agreement between their union and employers.
The Co-operative Employers Association has reached an
agreement with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) that will
mean all 16 and 17-year-old staff will receive the new youth rate of £3.52 per
hour, even though they are not covered by current legislation.
The National Minimum Wage for 18 to 21-year-olds is
currently £3.20 rising to £3.50 in October but all Co-op workers over the age
of 18 already receive a basic of £4.41.
Usdaw has been campaigning for the adult minimum wage to
apply to everyone over the age of 18 and a legally enforceable minimum for 16
“Despite operating in a fiercely competitive market the Co-operative
movement has shown that it is a business with a difference, an organisation with
a social conscience,” said Usdaw national policy officer Paul Gaffney.
“The Co-ops are determined to be successful but not at the
expense of their workforce,” he added.
By Ben Willmott