June 5th, 2014
Today, Labour London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross challenged the Mayor of London over the Holiday Inn’s lack of progress in delivering its pre-Olympics pledge to introduce the London Living Wage. Holiday Inn agreed to phase in the London Living Wage after the Mayor, Boris Johnson, promised that Olympic contractors would have to pay the wage. Two years later, many Holiday Inn workers are still paid the minimum wage.
Fiona Twycross AM has written to the Mayor highlighting the slow progress being made by Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), owners of Holiday Inn, to honour its London Living Wage (LLW) commitment. The letter challenges the Mayor 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 LLW 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”.
Two years later, little progress has been made. Many Holiday Inn workers are still paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) of £6.31 an hour (compared to the current LLW of £8.80), and staff have not received notification from the company regarding plans to phase in the LLW.
The most recent London Poverty Profile report found that the 600,000 jobs in London were paid less than the LLW in 2012 (17% of all jobs), compared to 420,000 in 2007 (13%).
Fiona Twycross AM, London Assembly Labour Group Economy Spokesperson, 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 Living Wage.
“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.”