In a co-ordinated, peaceful action 120 Citizens UK activists infiltrated the huge Earls Court Tesco on Monday evening to protest against poverty wages being paid to the company's thousands of outsourced cleaning staff.
Singing Beatles songs with adjusted satirical lyrics, protesters carrying dusters and mops took over a floor of the giant Tesco and performed a dance to the delight of shoppers and the consternation of security guards.
You can hear a snippet of the singing here:
Since its launch in 2001 the Living Wage Campaign has helped put £70 million in the pockets of London's low-income families and helped improve their quality of life. Whilst the campaign has achieved great success in the higher education, banking and legal sectors, retail has so far proven difficult.
But earlier this year Lush, the high-street bath products store, was the first retailer to adopt the London Living Wage (now set at £8.30 an hour by the Greater London Authority's low pay unit). Citizens UK, the community organising charity running the campaign, is in active talks with major retailers such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, as well as major players in the hotel sector such as Hilton.
Campaigning pressure is beginning to have an affect on Tesco, which recently announced a 2.5% pay increase for all its 230,000 directly-employed staff, taking basic hourly wages to around £7. now campaigners want the supermarket chain to turn its attention to indirectly employed staff, such as cleaners and security guards.