London Mayor Boris Johnson has called on hospitality operators in the capital to pay the London Living Wage.

Speaking at the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Annual Lunch held at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane, the mayor made the case for adopting the wage in front of an audience of industry leaders.

“My view is that not only is it in the interest of individuals, but it’s in the interest of the businesses they serve. Workers should be paid the London Living Wage.

“Those businesses that do, enjoy greater loyalty and retention of staff and gain a range of long term efficiencies,” said Johnson.

Both London Citizens and the Unite union conducted an orderly protest outside the Grosvenor House in support of the mayor and to protest that none of London’s luxury hotels has yet adopted a living wage (currently set at £7.60 an hour), “preferring instead to use migrant workers employed by agencies that pay the minimum wage”.

The BHA has so far refused to meet up with London Citizens or Unite to discuss the issue but said earlier this year that in a recession “now is not the time to demand that hotels introduce a London Living Wage”.

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By Chris Druce

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