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    Trade union confirms United Wholesale Scotland pays ‘income higher than real living wage’ after Anas Sarwar’s claim

    (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

    Workers at United Wholesale Scotland have insisted that they are in fact paid at least the real living wage a day after Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar claimed that not all workers at his family’s wholesale business are currently paid the real living wage.

    According to recent reports, a trade union representing staff at United Wholesale has confirmed the firm’s workers are paid above the real living wage. In a statement on Sunday night, the Usdaw union said recent pay negotiations meant all staff received an income higher than the living wage.

    Late on Sunday (26) evening an Usdaw spokesman issued a clarification, saying, “Usdaw has a trade union recognition agreement with United Wholesale Scotland and we negotiate on pay with the company. In our last negotiation we agreed a pay deal that delivered an income higher than the real living wage for all employees.”

    The statement follows an interview of Sarwar in which he expressed doubt over whether workers at United Wholesale Scotland are being given minimum wage or not.

    The Glasgow MSP relinquished shares in United Wholesale, which was originally set up by his father and is run by other family members.

    When asked if the wholesale business run by members of his family currently paid the real living wage, he replied, “I don’t believe that every single staff member is on the real living wage.

    “But I know there have been significant increases in the wage after negotiations with Usdaw, their trade union. Every business, including that one, will have to comply with the new deal for working people which will deliver a genuine living wage right across the country.”

    The wholesaler employed about 250 people at outlets across the west of Scotland. The claim by Sarwar was met with ridicule by the opposition parties.

    Correcting his statement, Sarwar said a day later, “I gave what I thought to be a correct answer, it has proven not to be the case.”

    The real living wage hourly rate advocated by the Living Wage Foundation is currently set at £12 across the country and £13.15 in London.

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