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Royal Peanuts: Queen’s Cleaners Paid Less Than London Living Wage

category ireland / britain | workplace struggles | non-anarchist press author Wednesday November 14, 2012 22:02author by Cat Wiener - Londonist Report this post to the editors

As a nation swooned over a Royal wedding costing an estimated £10 million+, it emerged that cleaners at Buckingham Palace earn only £6.45 an hour, well under the recommended London Living Wage of £7.85ph (shortly to rise to £8.30).

The London Living Wage aims to lift families out of working poverty and is supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The day before the Royal wedding, the cleaners, supported by the PCS union, held a protest to highlight their pay and conditions outside Buckingham Palace, only to be swiftly moved on by police. The majority were expected to work the following day without receiving Bank Holiday pay.

Some might struggle to understand why the world’s richest woman, who receives a massive £30 million from the Royal List (ie, us) towards the running of her household, should not be able to stump up the measly £1.85 an hour required to bring her cleaners’ pay up to the LLW. However, the Palace argues that the cleaners are in fact hired by subcontractors KGB, rather than the Royal estate, and that they themselves, according to a Palace spokesperson, are:

“currently in negotiations about paying the London living wage. We are in correspondence with KGB. As a publicly funded body, we are concerned that our staff have fair rates and proper working conditions.”

Such concern is commendable. However, in case you feel the issue is too important to be left to Palace discretion alone, and a nudge in the right direction might speed things along, you could do worse than sign the online petition here. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/royal-cleaners/sign...ml#se

Buckingham Palace may be the most shocking example of paying cleaners and other low-paid workers poverty wages, but they are most certainly not the only ones. For more information about who actually pays the Living Wage in London, read this post. http://londonist.com/2011/05/london%E2%80%99s-living-wa...t.php

Related Link: http://londonist.com/2011/05/royal-peanuts-queens-clean...e.php
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On Sectarianism

Ireland / Britain | Workplace struggles | en

Tue 02 Sep, 02:41

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iwu.jpg imageBelfast rallies in solidarity with massacre against striking miners in South Africa 16:06 Thu 23 Aug by WSM- Belfast 0 comments

Around 50 people attended a lunch time vigil today organised by the Belfast Trade and District Council. A range of political organisations and unions attended including the Independent Workers Union, the WSM and Organise! During the rally one speaker from the council also referred to the police being workers too. This will provide little comfort to working people on the receiving end of state violence and terror. As our comrades from the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front note, ‘The role of the police is to repress and silence the working class and poor. This problem cannot be fixed by commissions or enquiries – as some people think. Ask the family of Andries Tatane. It cannot be changed by elections. Remember: Sharpeville 1960, Soweto 1976, Uitenhague 1985, Michael Makhabane in 2000, SAMWU workers in 2009, Andries Tatane in 2011 … Marikana 2012. At least 25 protestors and strikers were killed from 2000, before Marikana.’

wsm.png image"It is becoming increasingly obvious that austerity is not working” 13:55 Wed 25 Apr by James McBarron 0 comments

With the announcement today by the TEEU and Unite that they are urging a No vote in the forthcoming Fiscal Compact Referendum allied to the fact that Mandate announced a similar position yesterday a clear division is emerging between the leading trade unions. SIPTU has basically offer its support for the treaty in return for a funded job creation plan, this is basically the union leadership buying time before it falls in line with Labour and calls for a yes vote.

lisb.jpg imageBelfast bus drivers take wildcat strike action to re-instate work colleague 15:07 Sun 22 Apr by Sean Matthews 0 comments

Workers direct action- An injury to one is an injury to all Ⓐ

textLive coverage of the N30 strike in northern Ireland 17:22 Wed 30 Nov by various 2 comments

WSM members & supporters in northern Ireland will be providing live coverage of the N30 Pension strikes today via our Twitter feed. The strike is part of the UK wide public sector strike against attacks on public sector pensions, attacks similar to those imposed on public sector workers in southern Ireland over the last couple of years. They are part of a Europe wide offensive against the pensions rights of workers.

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On the 24th of November something extraordinary happened in Ireland. Some 250,000 workers acted together in a day-long strike against the public sector wage cuts planned by the government. The vast majority of these workers had never gone on strike before, yet across almost all workplaces the strike involved 90% or more of those working.

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We have to ask ourselves how we have found ourselves in unions where the leadership was allowed take such an approach. And we have to work out how we create unions that we control and which will help us organise together to defend our common interests. How has it come to this?

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imageN30 Strike - Unite against the cuts - Solidarity is Strength Nov 30 by Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

Text of a WSM leaflet distributed today in Northern Ireland for the public sector strike.

textThe cost of 'partnership' Sep 21 by Gregor Kerr 0 comments

Many trade union activists have known for years that “social partnership” comes at a huge price for union independence and the ability of trade unions to defend the interest of their members. The myth that government and employers on one side and workers on the other side have some form of common interest has been peddled for over twenty years. This has resulted in a trade union movement whose leadership seems incapable of independent thought and whose membership has been browbeaten into accepting pay cuts, ‘pension levies’ and various attacks on our working conditions and living standards over the past couple of years.

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textWSM welcomes Ireland's public sector strike and calls for further action Nov 27 Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

Anarchist organisation Workers Solidarity Movement has congratulated public sector workers who took part in today’s 24-hour work stoppage and called for further stoppages “in order to force a change of direction from the government”.

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