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Protestors outside Hyatt Andaz speak out over London Living Wage

28 July 2008 by
Protestors outside Hyatt Andaz speak out over London Living Wage

Protesters gathered outside the Hyatt Andaz hotel on Liverpool Street in London this morning demanding a London Living Wage for employees.

The protest, organised by campaign group London Citizens, involved waitress, valets and cleaners, who all get paid the national minimum wage of £5.52 an hour.

Also in attendance among the 70 to 80 protesters were members of the Salvation Army, nuns from a Catholic church in Canning Town and students from the London school of economics and Stepney Green boys' school.

Employees demanded a London Living Wage and waved placards saying "Luxury Hyatt: Poverty Pay"; "London's Wage £7.45" and "Hyatt * EXPLOITATION".

Caterersearch spoke to protestors as they gathered outside the five-star hotel.

Stefan Baskerville, member of London Citizens, said: "The London hotel industry is one of the most expensive in the world and they have very high rates of occupancy built on the backs of people who are paid the minimum wage and are struggling to get by."

Moussa Baraka, a London Citizens member, added: "We're here to campaign for this East London community so they can have a wage that enables them to live a normal life in London."

Deborah Littman, trustee at London Citizens, said: "Business will realise that it is a good thing for them as well as its workers. They are coming to us saying how can we do this? Management has realised this is a good thing for the company. I hope the hospitality industry will respond this way too.

"At the moment I don't think the hospitality industry is conscious of this, what we are campaigning for, but eventually people will start to think that they don't want to stay in a hotel which pays the current minimum wage."

Hyatt Andaz has been unavailable for comment, but a meeting between the general manager of the Hyatt Andaz and London Citizens has been agreed for September.

Later today London Mayor Boris Johnson will unveil the 2008 London Living Wage report having already announced an increase in the voluntary wage to £7.45 an hour.

London Living Wage protest at Hyatt Andaz hotel >>

London Mayor raises Living Wage to £7.45 >>

Read more news on National minimum wage >>

Anger over wage probe's slow start >>

Hilton agency staff were paid less than the minimum wage >>

Olympic workers need to be paid London living wage >>

By Gemma Sharkey and Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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