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Sainsbury’s share price: Grocer changes some staff pay proposals

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J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) has changed some of its staff pay proposals detailed in March, bowing to pressure from employees and trade unions, Reuters has reported. The move came after it emerged earlier this week that more than 100 MPs had signed a letter criticising the changes.

Sainsbury’s share price has been steady in London in today’s session, having inched 0.22 percent higher to 319.40p as of 14:28 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and currently standing 0.28 percent lower at 7,766.42 points.

Sainsbury’s tweaks staff pay plan

Reuters reported today that Sainsbury’s had said that it had agreed to increase unsociable hour premium payments, extend location pay supplements to staff working in all outer London areas rather than just inner London, and raise online driver payments. The move followed a consultation process with staff representatives and unions.

The grocer expects the amendments to come at a cost of over £10 million to the business, in addition to the £100 million it had previously flagged. The blue-chip grocer, however, maintained the main elements of its March proposals, including an hourly rate increase from £8 £9.20 per hour from September while removing payments for breaks and an annual discretionary staff bonus.

Earlier this week, more than 100 MPs signed a letter criticising the changes to Sainsbury’s staff pay, arguing that they threaten to leave some workers more than £3,000 a year worse off. Reuters quoted a spokesman for the retailer as saying that fewer than 10 employees stood to lose that amount.

Analysts on blue-chip supermarket

Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated its ‘market perform’ rating on Sainsbury’s this week, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 grocer currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 281.75p.

As of 15:10 BST, Thursday, 24 May, J Sainsbury plc share price is 319.22p.

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