The Evening Telegraph reported last week that some firms interested in opening retail outlets on our city’s Waterfront may be deterred due to the requirement to pay a real living wage of £9 per hour to employees.
Before his retirement last September, I spoke to Mike Galloway, Dundee City Council’s then executive director of city development, who was responsible for the measure.
Mike grew up in a working-class community in Glasgow and said his parents worked in the hotel industry at a time when it generated a sustainable income.
Therefore he wanted to ensure young new entrants would also receive a fair wage.
I asked Mike if he had experienced any resistance and he told me about one business, whose name I will not reveal, which traditionally paid the minimum wage elsewhere.
Mike refused to budge and the employer agreed that all staff would be paid the real living wage.
One month later, the employer came back to him and said an analysis of staff morale had shown higher results in Dundee than any other site and the company was now considering rolling out the real living wage to other sites.
A living wage is just good business – good for the employer and good for the employee.