This is a parody of the £7 million John Lewis Xmas TV advertisement.
Mark Thomas and friends visited the Sloane Square branch of Peter Jones (part of the John Lewis partnership), and decorated the toy department cartoon grotto where children are invited to pose with cartoon characters from the notorious advert. Mark and co added placards so that the hare, the bear and the other woodland creatures showed support for the John Lewis cleaners who are earning between £6.87 and £7.02 per hour, way below the London Living Wage of £8.80.
The cleaners are currently sub-contracted (to a firm called Integrated Cleaning Management), but despite previous pressure from the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) and other activists, the John Lewis Partners continue to resist the suggestion that the cleaners should be treated like other John Lewis workers and benefit from the partnership scheme, which the public widely recognises as an ethical bonus to shopping at the chain.
While the stunt (part of Mark Thomas’ 100 acts of minor dissent’) was being carried out this afternoon, other activists were staging a protest outside the Oxford Street flagship John Lewis store, handing out leaflets to shoppers to spread the word about the store’s intransigence and poor treatment of workers. They also staged an invasion of the shop (caught on camera by the excellent Peter Marshall)