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1,300 authors throw the book at Waterstones

Waterstones is the latest retailer to come under fire about paying a higher wage to it’s employees.

Waterstones, a British book retailer that operates 283 shops and the largest book store in the UK is coming under fire following a petition by it’s employees. A petition was signed by Waterstones employees asking for £9 per hour, or £10.55 per hour in London. And more than 1,300 authors have backed the campaign calling on Waterstones to pay its staff a “real living wage”. Those authors include some big names such as Kerry Hudson, David Nicholls and Sally Rooney.

However, Managing Director James Daunt simply states that the book retailer, which returned to profit two years ago, simply cannot afford the increase. An extra £2 per hour to ever one of the 3500 employees would, to be fair, make a dramatic difference to the employees lives. As we all know how expensive it is to live nowadays, let alone save. By contract it would cost the UK retailer Waterstones an extra £11 million per year, which some commentators are saying that billionaire owner, Alexander Mamut, can certainly afford. They’re probably not wrong.

Nevertheless this story highlighting how the book business faces continual challenges in the age of easy access (Amazon Prime).

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