Concerns that Holiday Inn not honouring living wage pledge
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Finance
Holiday Inn offers free showers for active workers in London pilot
Hotel chain Holiday Inn has been challenged over its "lack of progress" in delivering on a pre-Olympics pledge to pay the living wage to its employees in London.
The accommodation chain agreed to phase in the London LW after mayor Boris Johnson promised that Olympic contractors would have to pay the wage.
However, according to Labour members of the London Assembly, two years on many Holiday Inn workers are still paid the minimum wage.
Labour's group economy spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, has now written to the mayor highlighting the slow progress being made by Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), owners of Holiday Inn, in honouring its commitment.
The letter challenges Johnson to contact IHG to ascertain what progress has been made towards delivering the commitments it made as an Olympic contractor, and set out a firm timeframe for how the LLW will be introduced for all Holiday Inn staff.
IHG announced in May 2012 that it would phase in the living wage over a five-year period for all Holiday Inn staff working in London.
At the time, the mayor said: “This is a welcome decision by IHG and I am delighted that they have been persuaded of the huge benefits the London Living Wage will bring."
The LW is currently set at £8.80 an hour in the capital and £7.65 in the rest of the UK.
With the minimum wage set at £6.31, the LW is calculated as the minimum hourly rate needed to allow for a decent standard of life.
Fiona Twycross said: “Two years on from the Holiday Inn’s commitment, it is alarming that the company is no closer to paying its staff in London a living wage.
"The mayor congratulated the hotel chain in their press release announcing the decision, so it should be a matter of deep concern to him that the company appears to be dragging its feet and failing to honour this commitment. The Holiday Inn continues to undermine the stance the mayor took prior to the Olympics on contractors and the London LW.
“At the current rate of progress it will take 450 years for all workers to be paid a living wage in London. Should further incentives not work then the legal minimum wage must be set at the level of the living wage."
The most recent London Poverty Profile report found that the 600,000 jobs in London were paid less than the LW in 2012 (17% of all jobs), compared to 420,000 in 2007 (13%).
Nobody at IHG was available for comment.