Stitch-in protest to expose Milton Keynes’ ‘Dirty Dozen’ who don’t pay the living wage

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Sewing suffragettes are launching a needle sharp attack on 12 of the city’s biggest businesses who fail to pay workers a living wage.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ will be named and shamed at a stitch-in protest – and a handkerchief bearing a hand-sewn message will be fired off to each of the companies’ board members.

The Craftivist Campaign will take place next Tuesday outside Marks & Spencer at CMK.

M&S is one of the largest companies currently avoiding the official Living Wage of £7.85 an hour.

Other ‘offenders’ in the FTSE top 100 list are Next, Morrisons. Tesco, Sainsbury, Sports Direct, Costa Coffee, Primark, Carphone Warehouse, PC World and Vodafone.

Matt Davis, from stitch-in organisers ShareAction, said: “It’s common sense to pay people fairly and it’s time all Milton Keynes retailers took a lead on this issue.

“It’s just not ‘crafty’ to continue paying low wages.”

The Living Wage has been calculated as the amount of money needed to maintain a normal standard of living. It differs from the National Minimum Wage, which is currently £6.50 an hour for over 21 year olds.

Tuesday’s stitchers will embroider their hankies with quotations about kindness and fairness. They also plan to present them to a string of celebrities who appear in advertising campaigns for the companies.

These include Annie Lennox, Emma Thompson and Rita Ora.

The stitch-in starts at 5.30pm and shoppers are invited to go along to pledge support.

Companies in MK who have adopted the Living Wage include the Open University and KMPG.

Milton Keynes Council set the example last year by agreeing to become a Living Wage employer.