London Citizens and the Unite union are to protest later today outside the British Hospitality Association’s (BHA) Annual Luncheon against hospitality operators’ refusal to adopt the London Living Wage.
London Mayor Boris Johnson will urge those at the lunch to voluntarily adopt the wage – currently set at £7.60 an hour in recognition of the higher cost of living in the capital – in a speech at the event.
Pressure group London Citizens contests that none of the 84 central London luxury hotels pays the living wage, preferring instead to use migrant workers employed by agencies that pay the minimum wage.
In March, London Citizens and Unite published the document Rooms for Change and attacked what it saw as a lack of engagement on the issue from the hospitality sector.
At the time the BHA said in response “now is not the time to demand that hotels introduce a London Living Wage”, although is has so far refused to meet up with the activists to discuss the issue further.
Although Boris Johnson is a supporter of the London Living Wage he reneged on a pre-election promise last year that only hotels and restaurants paying it would be promoted by Visit London ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
Last May, school meals caterer Harrison Catering Services signed up to the London Living Wage in concert with Ealing Council as part of its contract extension and became one of the first hospitality operators to do so.
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By Chris Druce
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