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Pay London City Airport cleaners the Living Wage, say campaigners

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 November 2013

(left-right) David Pollard and Giuliano Pistoni, co-owners of The Joiners Arms, with London Mayor Boris Johnson at a recent launch event of the new London Living Wage rate (Credit: Chris Jepson)

(left-right) David Pollard and Giuliano Pistoni, co-owners of The Joiners Arms, with London Mayor Boris Johnson at a recent launch event of the new London Living Wage rate (Credit: Chris Jepson)

Chris Jepson

Cleaners at London City Airport (LCA) should be paid the London Living Wage (LLW), say campaigners.

As Mayor of London Boris Johnson recently announced an increase in the hourly rate from £8.55 to £8.80, staff and students at the University of East London (UEL) called on the Hartmann Road terminal to adopt the voluntary scheme. Airport chiefs say its cleaners are employed through sub-contractors.

The university, which has campuses at Docklands and Stratford, held an event recently to mark becoming an accredited LLW employer.

The number of accredited employers in the capital has gone up from 78 to 214.

A cleaner at the airport, who did not want to be named, said she works “long hours” but only gets £6.40 per hour.

Airport cleaners are sub-contracted through Rentokill Initial, who refused to comment, and SSP UK.

An airport spokesman said: “LCA does not employ cleaning staff. The lowest paid members of LCA staff are paid in excess of the London Living Wage.”

A spokesman for SSP said: “We pay a competitive rate for our industry above minimum wage for all employees under 21 and offer all employees the opportunity to increase their hourly rate.”

Dr Tim Hall, principal lecturer at UEL’s school of law and social sciences, said: “For LCA to say it is not their concern is frankly an evasion.”

The minimum wage is £6.31 per hour for people aged 21 and over.

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