UNITE HERE, the hotel workers union in North America, believes all hotel workers work hard and deserve a living wage and dignity and respect on the job, no matter where they work or who they work for. We send our best wishes to London Hospitality workers participating in this event today and to hospitality workers across the UK.
Ron Oswald, General Secretary - International Union of Foodworkers - Geneva, Switzerland
The IUF representing hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers in over 150 countries around the world strongly supports this August 8 initiative.
Those who truly make this industry successful, the thousands and thousands of women and men who staff the hotels, the restaurants and the entire industry across London deserve a fair share of the major financial results this industry generates. And London, one of the great tourist destination cities of the world, should not be seen as promoting a tourism industry built on poverty wages and poor treatment of those who are the face and engine room of the industry, those who actually make the tourism industry work.
It's time for decent wages and proper jobs in this global industry and it's time for London to set an example to be proud of far from the woeful and shameful example it sets today.
To all those taking part today and to hospitality workers across London we send our full support and solidarity. Your struggle in London is our struggle and hospitality workers everywhere stand you should to shoulder.
Fiona Twycross, Labour Memeber of the Greater London Assembly
I am very sorry that I am unable to be here today to welcome you to City Hall, join in your picnic and show support for your campaign in person.
Holiday Inn made a clear commitment ahead of the Olympics that it would, as an Olympic contractor, pay its staff the London Living Wage. This commitment won the Holiday Inn a great deal of praise from all quarters, including from the Mayor of London.
Two years later, it is utterly disgraceful that Holiday Inn, having basked in the positive publicity it received in 2012, is dragging its heels, so that you are having to fight for what you deserve - a decent day's pay for a decent day's work. InterContinental Hotels Group which owns Holiday Inn increased its pre-tax profits to $600m last year, exceeding its forecasts. They need to pay their staff who contribute to this financial success a decent wage, and not just think about their shareholders. It is unacceptable that shareholders cream off these profits while staff are struggling to make ends meet. It does not seem that ‘We are all in this together’.
As Economy spokesperson for the Labour Group on the London Assembly, I have challenged the Mayor on your behalf and will continue to fight until Holiday Inn workers finally receive the wage you were promised.
Paying workers less than they need to live on is simply not acceptable and one of the key issues facing workers trying to earn a living in London. There are more people paid less than the London Living Wage in our city today than in 2007. The Labour Group on the London Assembly will continue to campaign with you and other unions to call on the government to upgrade the minimum wage to ensure that it is equal to a living wage.
Holiday Inn needs to put its money where its mouth is.
Cemail Bakindi, General President, TOLEYIS - Turkey
In behalf of Turkey’s Hotel, Restaurant and Entertainment Workers Trade Union (TOLEYİS) we are sending you our full support and solidarity. Your struggle in London is our struggle. We are suporting your action for hospitality workers which will be hold August 8, 2014.
Our members and we are with you!!!
Together we are stronger!!!
Lucas Ramatlhodi, Secretariat Coordinator, SACCAWU - South Africa
SACCAWU, a South African trade union affiliated to the IUF, has been appraised by the IUF of the struggles Unite the Union is waging against the scandalous, parasitical and downright exploitative practices visited upon your members in particulars and hospitality workers in general.
We wish to assure you that yours is not a struggle in isolation but rather a component of the global struggle for job security, decent pay, respect and dignity for workers the world over. The struggle for a living wage is a necessity and should be waged unconditionally against the bosses as it represents the fight against capital greed and exploitation of workers and the working class. One needs not be a rocket scientist to appreciate that the workers are unable to meet their financial needs and obligations thanks to the paltry wage paid by bosses and this creates an army of unhappy workers. Worse still, the exploitation in the hospitality industry has gone to such levels that some workers do no have wages but rather rely on tips, which by the way are not compulsory for customers. As if this is not exploitative enough some workers are allowed to do work without necessarily being employed thus no contract exists hence no payment can be expected.
SACCAWU extends her hand in solidarity to Unite the Union and her members and declare that we support your action unconditionally. We also salute your members’ courageous effort as it will serve to motivate other workers elsewhere to be brave and take the greedy capitalists head-on! FORWARD EVER, BACKWARDS NEVER!
Cristian Sesena, National Secretary, Filcam Cgil - Italy
Filcams Cgil, the most important trade Union in Italy, is with you shoulder to shoulder in this important action.
Mauro Moretto, Unia - Switzerland
In Solidarity of the hotel workers in UK from the Swiss trade union Unia! We wish you all the best for your campaign for better salary and work conditions.
Atle Høie, International Secretary, Fellesforbundet - Norway
Fellesforbundet, which organizes hotels and restaurants in Norway, wishes to extend our encouragement to you for the upcoming action outside London City Hall. The hospitality sector is struggling all across the world, and also in Norway we have an ongoing fight organizing and securing decent wages and working condition for them. We also see zero hour contracts and low wages in Norway, albeit not to the extent you do in the UK, but your fight is our fight and we support you wholeheartedly.
Harald Wiedenhofer, General Secretary, EFFAT - Belgium
The European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), which represents 120 national trade unions from 38 European countries and defends the interests of more than 2.6 million members, strongly supports Unite the Union and the hospitality workers of London in their action planned for 8 August 2014.
Despite the steady increase in tourists visiting London, the global and national chains running the hotels, restaurants and bars that are profiting refuse to pass on any of their gains to their workers. It is appalling that so many workers employed in this multi-billion pound industry are in poverty, with many failing to even reach the £8.80-per-hour decency threshold declared by the Mayor’s Office as the London Living Wage.
It is our strong belief that no worker should struggle to make ends meet, lest those in some of the world’s most costly and luxurious workplaces! Decent work, a fair and liveable wage and the equal treatment of all workers are fundamental – not just for workers and their families, but for the UK economy and thousands of employers across the country. London must guard its reputation as a leading global city, and combat poverty wages, discrimination and exploitation.
EFFAT gives its full support to all those people taking part in the protest on 8 August, both in defence of their own rights in London and in solidarity with the struggle of workers across the world.