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Published on Thursday, September 26, 2013

Unions to protest outside 'posh' London hotels

Demonstrations will take place outside two 'posh' London hotels tomorrow to highlight the plight of low pay for hotel staff.

The Unite union is planning demos outside the Radisson Edwardian Mayfair and the Holiday Inn Mayfair tomorrow afternoon to coincide with United Nations' designated World Tourism Day.

Unite claimed there are no employers within London's hospitality sector independently endorsing and paying their employees the London 'living wage' rate of £8.55 an hour.

It said instead many of its members are forced to live on little more than the national minimum wage of £6.19, which set to rise by 12p on October 1.

Many members of staff are women and from ethnic minorities, it added.

Unite said it had decided to stage demonstrations at the two "posh" hotels to raise awareness of low pay.

"Our protests tomorrow are focused on two hotels where we believe things should be different," said Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull.

"The Radisson Edwardian May Fair hotel operates a franchise agreement with Carlson which owns the Radisson brand and the Holiday Inn Mayfair is owned by Intercontinental Hotels (IHG). Neither of these hotels pays its lowest paid workers the London 'living wage'.

"However, both Carlson and IGH are signatories to the United Nations global compact. Employers, who are signatories to this compact, have given an international commitment to standards of decency, including the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

"We call on these two hotels, and all London hotels, to pay the 'living wage', so that some of the lowest paid workers in one of the world's most expensive cities share in the current tourism boom that the capital is enjoying."

In the summer, Unite presented a report 'Hopelessly Addicted to Low Pay to the Greater London Authority (GLA)', demanding that the hospitality and hotel industries pay the London 'living wage' of £8.55 an hour.

Holiday Inn parent IHG said it has made a commitment to become a London Living Wage Employer in all the London hotels it manages and is working with its owners to realise this goal.

by Bev Fearis


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  • Low pay??

    I may be out of touch as I have not had a pay packet for god knows how long, but is 1k a month such low pay to strike over for a 40 hr x five day working week? I also suspect they work more. In this day and age a job is a job and the pay is above the legal minimum wage, the answer is to change the low pay scale/minimum wage politically, how long or how much must any pay rise be to compensate for loss of wages by striking in the first place? Do the union officials also lose their pay when people strike? Besides these strike threats are a political move by the unions to destabilise government support whilst the labour party conference is in the news. Now how callous is that? Sick of these bleeding hearts claiming "foul play" at the drop of a hat. So why don"t you employ these people on higher hourly rates then and solve everyones problems? The other question is if put in the hotel owners shoes what would you pay for unskilled manual labour?

    By Paul Davis, Friday, September 27, 2013

  • Living wage for hotel workers

    The Radisson Mayfair, at least, is pretty posh, but that is not the point. A fair day's work for a fair day's pay is the point and paying employees £6.19, to rise to the giddy height of £6.31 in October, by ultra rich hotel chains is an insult.

    By Paul Blackman, Thursday, September 26, 2013

  • Headline said Posh hotels

    Holiday Inn / Radisson not posh!

    By W Shearer, Thursday, September 26, 2013

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