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Spied-on staff at Britannia’s Adelphi hotel in Liverpool treated like servants

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Spied-on staff at Britannia’s Adelphi hotel in Liverpool treated like servants
Written by:

Staff at the 402-bedroom Adelphi hotel in Liverpool are being treated “like Victorian-era servants” with housekeepers having 20% lopped off room-cleaning times, according to a trade union.

As a result, workers at the 402-bedroom Adelphi hotel in Liverpool are to be balloted for industrial action after the property’s owner declined to enter negotiations over pay.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said that Britannia Hotels, owned by Alex Langsam, had refused “to negotiate a fair pay rise and an end to zero-hours contracts”.

Alongside the ballot, which closes in 15 December, Adelphi staff and supporters are being asked to join a demonstration, outside the hotel, to win fair pay and conditions on Friday 2 December, at 8am and 4pm.

If workers vote in favour of industrial action, a strike could take place over the busy Christmas and New Year period.

The union wants the hotel to pay the National Living Wage Foundation’s minimum rate of £8.45 an hour, guarantee staff a minimum level of hours to introduce some financial security and ensure adequate staffing levels.

Mick Cash, the general secretary of the RMT, said that staff should receive a fair share of the pre-tax profits of Britannia Hotels which, according to the company’s latest financial accounts for the year to 31 March 2016 lodged at Companies House, recorded a 134% increase to £33.3m on an annual turnover of £84.1m.

“Britannia can clearly afford to pay a living wage, but so far they have chosen to bury their heads in the sand and demand even more work from staff who are already over-stretched and grotesquely underpaid,” he said.

“Britannia boss Alex Langsam has amassed a personal fortune of £220m on the back of poverty wages and is now on the Sunday Times Rich List, and our members are telling us that they will no longer accept being treated like Victorian-era servants.

Cash added that the union has complained to the Information Commissioner over the Adelphi’s use of CCTV with sound to spy on the workforce.

“Britannia Adelphi bosses now have a choice,” he continued. “They can carry on down the road to confrontation or they can sit around the table and hammer out a deal that reflects the true value of their staff – and we are ready to talk when they are.”

Britannia Hotels was founded in 1976 following the acquisition by Langsam of the Britannia Country House Hotel in Didsbury, Manchester. The group currently owns and operates 52 hotels across the UK.

In a recent survey conducted survey of Which? members, Britannia Hotels was found to be the worst performing brand in the UK for cleanliness, comfort and the state of the bedrooms and bathrooms.

At the time of going to press, Britannia had declined to comment.

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