The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Porters Suspended For Living Wage Demands

5 Hertford Street
23 August 2019

Eight kitchen porters who were recently transferred to ACT Clean, as the company took up a contract at a Mayfair members' club, have been suspended after they asked for the Living Wage and occupational sick pay.

The club, which has billionaires, and A-listers amongst its £1,800 a month membership list, found itself picketed as the recently outsourced workers went on strike in June assisted by the Cleaners and Facilities branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

In May, the union had organised a protest at the club moving to an outsourcing model and the porters being transferred to ACT Clean but this failed when the club owners refused to reconsider.

The club, which is named after its address at 5 Hertford Street, is owned by millionaire Brexiteer Robin Birley, who is famous for donating over £250,000 to UKIP and £20,000 to Boris Johnson.

At the point of outsourcing on June 1, the porters earned £9.00 an hour. ACT made that up to £9.35. However, as a condition of employment, the porters had to sign agreements which meant they could not speak to the press.

A strike and picket on June 7 saw the porters demand the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour and sick pay.



The IWGB has now launched a petition calling for an end to 'victimisation', the London Living Wage, occupational sick pay and an end to outsourcing - and the reinstatement of the kitchen porters.


Sick pay

Under the strict rules for sick pay, the porters get no money at all the first three days they are off work with an illness and then are paid £94.25 per week. This means many of them are forced to work while they are ill.


Dirty dishes

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez said: “The 5 Hertford Street kitchen porters had a very simple and fair demand - to not be treated like the dirty dishes they clean. Management's response has been to intimidate workers with suspensions on absurd grounds. If Robin Birley can had over £250,000 to UKIP and Boris Johnson, he can pay his workers a living wage.”

Picture: There have been dark times at 5 Hertford Street if you are an outsourced porter. The club has five floors including the downstairs Loulou's nightclub which is due to re-open following a refurbishment.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 23 August 2019


Related Articles

Royal Surrey County Hospital Awarded First NHS Exemplar Status for Portering Services

Royal Surrey County Hospital and its partner Medirest have been awarded the first NHS “Exemplar” status for outstanding portering services, which has only...

 Read Full Article
Boeing Aircrafts to Cut 2,000 Office Workers

Boeing intends to refocus on engineering and manufacturing this year, cancelling around 2,000 current employment contracts mostly held in finance and...

 Read Full Article
Bidvest Noonan Security Staff Strike At UCL Over Pay

Outsourced security staff have been striking at University College London this week, in a protest over pay. Over 150 people attended the strike on Monday 14 November,...

 Read Full Article
Barnet Council Votes to Stop Key Service Outsourcing by 2026

As their ten-year support services contract with Capita draws to an end, Barnet Council has voted to bring HR, finance, IT and estates back in-house. Barnet Council...

 Read Full Article
Facilities Management Outsourcing Declines by 6% Due to COVID

2020 has seen a market value decrease of around six per cent in facilities management outsourcing, largely due to COVID-19 and the lockdown measures introduced to attempt...

 Read Full Article
No Reception Desk for Accountancy Firm – Outsourcing Call Handling

Jo Giles, Head of Facilities at Cooper Parry, explains how the removal of their formal reception desk and outsourcing their call handling has changed the dynamic of their...

 Read Full Article
Clean for Good Report Reveals Need for More Ethical Outsourcing

The potential dangers that employers face when they outsource cleaning services have been outlined a report, forwarded by Dr Eve Poole. According to recent research by...

 Read Full Article
NAO Criticises Prison Maintenance Transformation Plan

The government is failing to provide and maintain safe, secure and decent prisons - and some of the blame falls at the decision to outsource to Carillion and...

 Read Full Article
Support Service Company Fined For Brain Injury Fall

A company providing a range of airline ground support services has been fined after an employee fell from a height of more than two metres - suffering fractures and a...

 Read Full Article
Strike Ends With London Living Wage Guaranteed

ISS staff working at BEIS have won what their union is now describing as the 'gold standard' in terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage, after...

 Read Full Article