by Tim Lezard Unite has challenged the hotel group which owns the Holiday Inn and the Crowne Plaza to keep its broken 2012 promise to phase in the London Living Wage for all of its workers. Members of the union’s hotel branch yesterday gathered outside …

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, UK unions, Unite,

Crowne Plaza hotel, London Holiday Innby Tim Lezard

Unite has challenged the hotel group which owns the Holiday Inn and the Crowne Plaza to keep its broken 2012 promise to phase in the London Living Wage for all of its workers.

Members of the union’s hotel branch yesterday gathered outside the Crowne Plaza in Blackfriars to urge bosses to keep the pledge they made two years ago to phase in the Living Wage – which increased this week from £8.80 to £9.15 per hour – over a five- year period as part of its bid to secure an Olympic contract.

Since 2012, the InterContinental Hotel Group has made no progress on its pledge, and London Mayor Boris Johnson has abdicated his responsibility to push the hotel group—which successfully won the Olympic contract—into paying up.

Unite understands that a large proportion of IHG workers are sub-contracted through employment agencies and earn £6.50 per hour – the legally-binding National Minimum Wage.

IHG directly employs a smaller number of staff on minimum rates, typically £6.80 an hour, most of whom are food and beverage assistants, room service personnel and luggage porters.

Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “£6.80 is the rate IHG introduced in June 2012 when they committed to phasing in the London Living Wage, so despite three consecutive hikes in the Living Wage rate, there seems to have been no progress at all in terms of phasing it in.

“As we present our evidence to the Low Pay Commission, calling for an £8 an hour National Minimum Wage, we challenge IHG to demonstrate their commitment to phasing in the London Living Wage by establishing £8 as a minimum rate with immediate effect on a voluntary basis.

“IHG’s back-tracking on its promise is especially scandalous given its latest quarterly report showing outstanding profits. According to IHG’s own figures, it just now experienced the strongest quarterly growth in revenue per available room over the past two years.

“The gap between the average worker at an IHG hotel and the highest paid director is jaw-dropping—the highest paid at IHG out-earns the average worker by a factor of 94. The claim that IHG cannot afford to pay its workers a living wage is preposterous.”

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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