London has an enviable reputation for having a high standard of hotel accommodation, and this is in part due to the substantial amounts of money that are invested in the sector every year.
But it is of course also due in large part to the staff who work hard to make sure that guests have an exceptional stay. So it seems only right that all staff involved should share in the hotels’ success, and at the very least receive a living wage. But according to a recent article in the Observer, this is currently far from being the case.
The article by Yvonne Roberts reports on the plight of room attendants in the capital, many of whom receive less than £7 an hour – far below the living wage for London, which is currently £9.15 an hour. It’s important to mention that many of these cleaning staff work for outside agencies which some London hotels use to outsource their cleaning work.
According to Roberts, room attendants at the Park Plaza Hotel County Hall are currently deciding whether to go on strike for better pay and conditions, which currently see them cleaning 15-17 rooms each in seven and a half hours – a marked increase on the previous 13 rooms in eight hours.
If such action were to go ahead then it would be the first strike by room attendants in over a decade. Whether this would impact on stays at the hotel or whether new staff would simply be drafted in is unknown. Either way, it seems unlikely that this issue will simply disappear.