No 10 is still not a living wage employer

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In 2001 low-paid cleaners in East London began the campaign for a London living wage, an hourly rate based on real living costs that is independently calculated. Two decades on and the workers cleaning the corridors of power are still struggling to make ends meet.


It was the pandemic that incited recognition of the work that cleaners, porters, security staff and social care workers do that deserves the dignity and respect that is afforded to most other workers.


The illegal antics at No. 10 and the Sue Gray report reminded us of the low-paid workers who must wipe up the mess after the parties finish, the workers who are relied on to turn a blind eye to what they know are the very same workers who struggle to make ends meet because they don’t earn the London Living Wage


Lola McEvoy, GMB London Region Organiser said:

“So far, over 10,000 employers have chosen to go further than their legal obligation – the government minimum wage rate – in favour of a higher hourly rate, because it’s the right thing to do. That said, while many employers sign up to the LWF because they believe it’s the right thing to do not all of them were so eager. That is when low-paid employees have stepped up and fought hard to win their living wage, and credit to them.


“Amongst those employers that have signed up are both the Welsh and Scottish governments but – in a scandal, even Boris Johnson would struggle to deny all knowledge of, No 10 isn’t a living wage employer. In fact, not a single government department in Whitehall is currently accredited to the LWF. That means that the cleaners who wiped vomit from the walls of Downing Street aren’t guaranteed a London living wage.”


GMB London Region calls for the government to step up and do the right thing – pay the London Living Wage to its cleaners, porters, security staff and social care workers who do the jobs that aren’t noticed, aren’t valued and are certainly not well rewarded.


Contact: Lola McEvoy, GMB London Region Organiser 079 6744 0297


Editors notes:

The Living Wage Foundation (LWF) is calculated to ensure that if you’re working you should be able to pay your rent and put food on the table.