‘Flash mob’ serenade Bromley-by-Bow Tesco shoppers with ‘living wages’ hymn

Shoppers were greeted by a ‘flash mob’ which turned up at a Tesco store in East London and sang a ‘supermarket hymn’ calling for living wages for staff.

Campaigners from The East London Communities Organisation turned up in the store at Bromley-by-Bow and broke into song and gave sweets to store workers and customers, calling for low-pay workers to get a minimum �8.50-an-hour.

Father Tom O’Brien, a priest from Bethnal Green’s Our Lady of the Assumption Church who wrote the ‘Tesco hymn’ adaptation of ‘Turning the World Upside Down,’ suddenly broke into song by the cash tills and was joined by other campaigners in the store.

“We wanted to make sure the company understands that Tower Hamlets is a ‘living wage’ borough,” he said. “So we gathered to call on the chief executive to pay a ‘living wage’ to their cleaners.”

They picked on the Bromley-by-Bow branch where the company is developing a massive ‘shopping city’ of 18 ‘high street’ stores including a new Tesco hypermarket, a 90-bed hotel, an Idea Store library centre, two parks and a school to be opened next year with 2,000 new jobs.


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The campaigners want to make sure the jobs created in the shadow of the 2012 Olympics pay ‘living’ wages. They have already chalked up success with Tower Hamlets Council being among the first local authorities in the country to guarantee ‘living’ wages for staff and suppliers and HSBC at Canary Wharf being the first bank to sign up to the pledge.

Saturday’s ‘flash mob’ hymn singing took the store by surprise—but the company said later all its London staff receive the ‘London living wage’ minimum.

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