|Retreat of TELCO leaders discussed common concerns
and focused on poverty, privatisation and the challenges
on people’s time. Discussed the experience
of the living wage campaigns in the US and floated
|UNISON commissioned the Family Budget Unit to
determine the living wage rate for London.
||Published Mapping Low Pay in East London,
documenting the extent to which low paid workers
are in the gap between the minimum and living wage,
with very poor conditions of work. Launched at a
conference held at Queen Mary, University of London.
||Public assembly of up to 1000 held at York Hall,
Bethnal Green, attended by local MPs, officials
from HSBC and John Monks (General Secretary of the
TUC), who restated the case for a living wage.
||Occupied a branch of HSBC in Oxford Street to
protest at the low pay and poor conditions of cleaners
at the Canary Wharf site.
||Parliamentary hearing for the living wage campaign,
held at the House of Commons with invited MPs and
a guest speaker from Baltimore.
||At least 40 ISS workers, along with representatives
from local mosques, churches, colleges and the media
attended a meeting of the NHS Trust board at the
Homerton Hospital, made a presentation and handed
over a petition with 600 signatures from hospital
|Attended AGM of HSBC to demand a meeting with
the Chairman, Sir John Bond, to discuss contracting
arrangements at Canary Wharf. TELCO activists had
bought shares and were able to interrupt the meeting,
asking for action.
||Meeting held with Sir John Bond (Chairman of HSBC)
who rejected the idea of interfering in the market
in order to pay cleaners more.
||UNISON/TELCO submitted a claim for improved conditions
for staff working for the contractors ISS Mediclean
and Medirest at 5 East London hospitals.
||Living wage campaign supported by Billy Bragg’s
tour, raising the profile and finance from gigs
across the country.
||Held living wage march involving local schools
along the Mile End Road before large public assembly
at the People’s Palace, Queen Mary, University
of London. Led by black Pentecostal churches from
the area. Focused on the NHS and developing a relationship
with the Mayor of London.
||Held academic conference at the London School
of Economics to make the case for a living wage,
drawing on US experience.
||Public rally of 200 contract workers involved
in the East London claims held in Stratford, addressed
by the General Secretary of UNISON and workplace
activists, building for industrial action in pursuit
of the claim.
||Public assembly of about 500 held in Stratford,
to confirm support for a strike of contract staff
in the hospitals. New aspect of the campaign also
developed to work on better ethical standards in
UK contracting practice.
||Demonstration outside and inside HSBC’s
AGM, again putting pressure on the bank over contracting
arrangements at Canary Wharf. Generated a lot of
media attention and the pressure coincided with
the appointment of a new Director from the US, who
was to be paid £35 million.
||Improved offer accepted by contract staff at the
Homerton and Mile End/St Clements Hospitals, to
secure immediate improvements and parity with NHS
conditions by 2006. Strike and large demonstration
held to try and increase the wage level and improve
the offer at Whipps Cross Hospital. Later offer
made to Royal London contract staff.
||Discussion of plans to launch an initiative for
socially responsible contracting with cleaning clients,
the industry, unions and ethical investors, held
at the DTI.
||Launch of Socially Repsonsible Contracting
document at Portcullis House, Westminster. Chaired
by John Cruddas MP, attended by Barclays, major
banks, cleaning companies, ethical investors and
MPs. Estimated to cost 30% more for contracts that
||Barclays Bank agrees to new terms and conditions
for contract cleaners employed at new HQ in Canary
Wharf. Pay to rise to £6 an hour, 15 days
paid sick and 8 extra days holiday. Access to the
pension scheme also included. Reported by BBC Newsnight,
good media coverage.
Around this time, the T&G deployed two full-time
union organisers to work at Canary Wharf.
||Mayoral Accountability Assembly, Westminster Central
Hall, calls on all candidates to support the establishment
of a Living Wage Unit to publish an annual living
wage for the capital. Ken Livingstone, the successful
candidate agrees. Barclays praised publicly at the
||OCS Cleaning announce a new package for staff
at HSBC Canary Wharf (produced in negotiation with
HSBC). Wage increase of 11% to £6.10 an hour,
8 extra days holiday and 10 days sick pay. Changing
shift patterns to reduce night working and those
doing nights to be paid 30% increase. Encouragement
for training and career development. Invitation
to join OCS pension scheme. Agreement made 2 weeks
before HSBC AGM.
||COMPACT signed between London Citizens and the
London Olympic Committee to endorse an ethical olympics.
Agreement includes paying a living wage to contractors
working on the Olympic construction and those employed
during the events.
||The Living Wage Unit (GLA) publishes A Fairer
London and announces poverty threshold wage
of £5.80 an hour and a living wgae of £6.70
(including benefits and tax credits) for the capital.
One in five workers found to be on less than the
living wage. Mayor agrees to roll out the living
wage to the GLA/TfL and to include it as a criteria
in grant-giving process.
||General Election used as an opportunity to hold
accountability assemblies with the main candidates
in each constituency asking them to support a living
wage along with other TELCO/London Citizens demands.
||London Citizens-QM Summer Academy project to research
the pay and conditions of workers in other low paying
sectors of the economy: care, hospitality, transport
cleaning, office cleaning. Making the city work:
low paid employment in London launched at South
London Citizens Assembly.
||IPPR became the first third sector organisation
to address the living wage for cleaners, and employ
ethical cleaning company.
||T&G steps up its organising campaign in Canary
Wharf. Living wage breakthrough at Deutsche Bank
in the City. Followed by Morgan Stanley, Lehman
Brothers and Citigroup at Canary Wharf, KPMG, PWC,
RBS (mainly in 2006) in the City. Starts to move
onto the underground network.
||Living wage organising effort started at Queen
Mary, University of London with rally held to win
improved conditions for KGB cleaners.
||Parity with NHS terms and conditions secured for
contracted cleaners at Homerton and Whipps Cross
hospitals (the latter only after more industrial
||Research published into impact of living wages
paid to domestics at the Royal London Hospital,
as staff brought in-house via a PFI deal in Summer
||Queen Mary declared to be the first living wage
campus in the UK and campaign taken up at the London
School of Economics.
||May day mass to honour migrant workers attracts
up to 2000 people to Westminster Cathedral. Homily
given by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor with
call for regularisation, taken up by London Citizens
rally outside. Founding of London Citizens Workers’
||TELCO and London First organise conference for
the industry, to discuss efforts to raise standards:
Keeping London Clean and Well.
||GLA publishes A Fairer London updating
the living wage figure to £7.05
||London Citizens and UNITE-HERE work together on
hotel rising campaign to take the living wage to
London’s hotel sector by targeting the Hilton
group and Kensington Close. Mass action at Hilton
Metropole to demand meeting with Howard Friedman,
the President of Hilton International in the UK.
Ongoing recruitment of workers to LCWA from LSE,
Tate Modern and Hilton group.
|Draft Olympic delivery procurement policy found
to have dropped commitment to a living wage. Rally
held to target David Higgins, Chief Executive of
Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA) for a meeting.
||Meetings held with Managers from Hilton Group
about employment conditions.
||TELCO 10th Anniversary Assembly, Queen Mary announce
plan to bring back cleaning in-house and exceed
living wage demands; ODA promise to meet and discuss
the living wage. Sir John Bond is honoured on stage
for his willingness to work with TELCO to make improvements
at HSBC, despite his initial hostility.
||T&G step up efforts for a zonal agreement
for cleaning standards across Canary Wharf and the
City, sign up ISS, OCS and Lancaster.
||LSE agree to significant improvements in the pay
and conditions of cleaning staff. Following a transition
period up to Summer 2009 all cleaners will earn
the living wage, have 28 days holiday and sick pay.
||Lobby of ODA over living wage at the 2012 Olympic
||ODA publish procurement policy declares fully
support for the London living wage. To abide by
the legal requirements, the policy states that:
“The ODA will ask its contractors if they
would be prepared to adopt fair employment measures
including the London living wage … [and this]
will be taken into account when the ODA advertises
contracts and considers tenders.”
||Macquarie Bank announce an agreement with their
contractor Greencrest to pay a living wage and to
provide 28 days holiday and sick pay. McGraw Hill
also supports contractor Lancaster to pay a living
||GLA announce new living wage of £7.20 an
||Protest held at Canary Wharf to target Barclays
who were paying well below the living wage. Talks
||Evidence gathered to make a case for a living
wage at Food Partners, a sandwich factory in West
London employing members of a Lithuanian Church
in membership of TELCO.
||Lobby of the London Fire and Emergency Planning
Authority to ensure living wage for cleaners –
which was agreed.
||Barclays announce decision to pay over the living
wage (£7.50 an hour) to all 1000 cleaners
in London with immediate effect.
||Students at Trinity Catholic High School hold
an Olympics Assembly at school with Dave Higgins
(Chief Executive of the ODA) challenging him about
workers interviewed at the Olympic site and NOT
being paid a living wage. Action promised and later
||Hilton Group announce a decision to phase out
the use of agencies to supply labour for their London
||Westway, developers of the White City Shopping
Centre in West London agree to be the first living
wage retail zone in the UK.
||Living wage employer awards given to Westway,
Bioregional (South London), Barclays, Macquarie
||Hilton Group announce that all in-house staff
across 17 hotels will be paid a living wage in 2008.
||Activists bridge the divide between rich and poor
represented in Doris Salcedo’s installation
Shibboleth in the Turbine Hall at Tate
Modern demanding that in-house and contracted staff
get the living wage. Talks ongoing.
||Cleaners at Queen Mary, University of London move
in-house with dramatically better terms and conditions
||London Citizens’ Mayoral Assembly includes
demand for candidates to support the London living
wage: Boris Johnson agrees.
||SOAS governing body votes to pay living wage from
September 2008. Contract changed from Ocean to ISS
with union recognition for UNISON.
||Boris Johnson honours pre-election pledges and
announces new living wage figure of £7.45.
Summer Academy interns target Hyatt Andaz Hotel
(Liverpool Street) and Hilton Group, triggering
ongoing talks with both chains.
||Action outside the Departments for Work and Pensions
and Children, Families and Schools demanding they
honour a pledge on child poverty. Later secure ministerial
agreement to pay living wage to those at DCFS, including
subcontracted staff, from April 2009.
||At TELCO Assembly, directors from Olympic Delivery
Authority (ODA) announce that of 3000 workers on
the Olympic site, only 134 are not paid the living
wage. New contracts will all be living wage.
Leader of Labour Group, Tower Hamlets Council also
pledges support for the living wage.
||Protest outside Birkbeck College Governors meeting
to demand a living wage – campaign still ongoing.
||Queen Mary reports on one year of a living wage
and the impact of the move back in-house on cleaning
standards and costs, reported in ‘The business
case for the living wage: the story of the cleaning
service at Queen Mary’.
||Birkbeck Governors agree to living wage for cleaning
and catering staff (Ocean and Sodhexo).
||London Citizens and Unite the union (hotel workers’
branch) launch ‘Rooms for change: Putting
London on track for the Olympics’ to link
the hospitality sector to the pledge to create an
ethical Olympics in 2012.
||Protest outside the British Hospitality Association
lunch at Grosvenor Hotel with request to meet Bob
Cotton (Chair), supported by Mayor Boris Johnson
speaking at the event.
||Cleaning and catering staff at Birkbeck get £7.45
an hour with % in-line raises for other staff; no
sick pay agreed but union recognition.
||BBC Newsnight report on violations of the NMW
in the hotel sector – with support of LC -
documenting cases of agency workers employed by
Hotelcare Ltd and working at Ibis, Plaza and Holiday
Inn Hotels. Inland Revenue start investigation.
||Trick or Treat action outside the Treasury and
Department for Work and Pensions, Whitehall, in
support of the living wage.
||Meeting with Health and Safety Officers from Royal
Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster
Council to discuss risks faced by hotel workers.
||Linklaters announce decision to become living
Meeting with Low Pay Commission to look at violations
of NMW due to agency work and piece rates in the
hotel sector. Start gathering data for the HSE.
||Assembly called ‘The Citizens response to
the economic crisis,’ held at the Barbican
with a demand on the Corporation of London and City
institutions to pay a living wage. Demand on national
politicians to adopt the living wage in public procurement.