Aldi shows the way on pay. Now what about more cash for care workers also

by Colin Campbell

STAFF at Aldi stores in Inverness are to get a pay rise in recognition of the fine work they’ve done during the pandemic.

There’s surely not a customer anywhere who would think they don’t thoroughly deserve it.

Aldi is giving all its store staff in Scotland a new year pay rise and increasing its minimum hourly rates from the beginning of next month.

It says it’s in recognition of the “amazing contribution” of staff during the past 10 months.

The pressure should now fall on Tesco, Morrisons and other chains to do the same.

I frequently go to Aldi. Sometimes there’s a checkout queue because they seem to operate on minimal staffing levels, but they’ve sorted that out pretty well also.

In fact the waiting time at checkouts during the virus is less than it was before.

Not that any minor delay is anything to complain about. Not compared with the efforts of staff – especially the checkout operators – who simply do not have the level of virus protection available to their customers, glass screens or no grass screens.

They, like store workers everywhere, have done an excellent job and there’s no doubt gratitude towards them is widespread.

These supermarkets are the last bastions of near-normality in these difficult and strange times.

Is it too much to hope that other workers who have battled on during this crisis will benefit in a similar way?

What about staff at Inverness care homes?

The “clap for carers” initiative shows how highly the public rates their efforts. But something more substantial is needed.

The people in care homes have – I know personally – stoically worked on under extreme pressure facing the most traumatic situations imaginable with residents being separated from their loved ones.

These care home heroes, for too long undervalued and underpaid, deserve a pay rise in recognition of their outstanding efforts also.

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