Exclusive: Royal Opera House cleaners win London living wage
Cleaners at the Royal Opera House have won a long-fought battle to get paid the London Living Wage in a move which will secure them a near 30 per cent pay rise.
Opera House managers and their cleaning contractor Mitie staved off the threat of embarrassing staff protests at the prestigious Bafta awards ceremony being held there later this month. The 50 cleaners and porters will see their pay rise from £7 an hour to the London Living Wage of £8.80.
Unite union’s regional officer Carolyn Simpson said: “It’s astounding that we had to fight for workers at one of the world’s most prestigious venues just to get them a living wage. The world’s elite can pay hundreds of pounds for a ticket but the bosses resisted paying cleaners and porters the bare minimum it takes to get by in London.”
The deal now means that, under new chief executive Alex Beard, all staff at the prestigious opera house are now on the London Living Wage or above. Beard was hired from the Tate last year on a salary of £250,000.
London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has been a keen advocate of the London Living Wage, said the agreement was “very good news,” adding: “more employers are realising that the London living wage builds dedicated, motivated workforces and ensures that hard-working people who contribute to London's success can enjoy a decent standard of living.”
Unite has been negotiating to get union recognition for Mitie’s Opera House workers for the past year, and succeeded in January. It is also now seeking pay rises for cleaners at the British Museum employed by the contractor Carillion.
Unions and City Hall have been trying to persuade other big employers across the capital to move workers on to the living wage, which is set independently and updated annually.
An Opera House spokesman said: “I can confirm the negotiations have been concluded.”
- 1 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Executive - Ce...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...