Unite members protest today outside Holiday Inn Whitechapel over pay

Unite members are today protesting outside the Holiday Inn Whitechapel to demand its owners pay staff the London Living Wage.

The union has joined forces with Citizens UK to challenge the global hotel group which owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, over its broken 2012 promise to phase in the London Living Wage for all its workers.

This week the real Living Wage increased to £10.20 in London and £8.75 per hour outside the capital, giving a much needed pay boost to around 150,000 of the country’s low paid workers.

In 2012, IHG was publically praised for becoming the ‘first UK hotel chain’ to support the Living Wage after it agreed to phase in the pay rises over a five year period in each of its eight managed London hotels. But since then the hotel group has made no progress on phasing it in.

Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “It is a disgrace that staff employed at IHG’s London managed hotels, are still among the 70 per cent of UK hospitality workers trapped on poverty wages – now earning up to £2.70 an hour less because of IHG’s broken living wage promise.

“IHG is one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Its former CEO Richard Solomon was paid a jaw dropping £3.45m last year. By contrast its sub-contracted housekeeping staff are left struggling to make ends meet on just £7.50 an hour – the legal minimum wage rate, a pay gap of 221 times.

“We say shame on you IHG, its backtracking has cost its lowest paid workers a half decade of lost wages.  It can easily afford to keep its living wage promise and must do so now.”

Neil Jameson, Executive Director of Citizens UK, said: “Back in 2012 IHG the owners of Holiday Inn promised they would pay a London living wage to hotel staff in the capital but, five years on, hardworking staff are still waiting for this pay rise.

“It is deeply disappointing that IHG have let down workers and customers by not paying the London Living Wage after saying they would. We want IHG to meet with workers as a matter of urgency and agree a move to pay the London Living Wage and accredit with the Living Wage Foundation.”

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