The Workers Party of Britain condemns Sainsbury’s decision to pay huge dividends to shareholders whilst dumping regular workers onto the dole in the midst of a pandemic.
At the beginning of this tax year, Sainsbury’s was granted a year-long business rates holiday, to the tune of £230 million.
Since then, Sainsbury’s, the UKs second largest supermarket chain, has seen an increase of 8.2% in grocery sales and a huge 112% increase in online sales.
Alongside the business rates holiday, Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts took the decision to defer dividend payments, only to make a complete mockery of that decision by reinstating the payments two-fold just six months later.
A payment of 7.3p per share is to be handed to shareholders along with a further interim payment of 3.2p per share. Funnily enough, this adds up to the same £230 million saved on business rates!
The largest payout is going to Qatar Holding LLC, which owns 481,746,132 Sainsbury’s shares, making its owners the princely sum of £50,583,343.86 and contributing to the further flight of capital from the country in these difficult times.
Meanwhile, as a thank-you to all those staff whose efforts kept the retail giant in good heart throughout the pandemic at great personal risk to themselves, Sainsbury’s is axing thousands of jobs, closing its in-store fish, meat and deli counters along with all 420 stand-alone branches of Argos.
The 120 Argos branches that have been closed since March’s lockdown will not reopen, while the remaining 300 are slated for closure over the next three and a half years, shoving a total of 3,500 workers onto the dole in the interest of maximising profits.