29 November 2016
RMT Press Office:
LOW-PAID workers at Liverpool’s iconic Britannia Adelphi hotel are to be balloted for industrial action against their scrooge employer, raising the prospect of strikes over Christmas and New Year.
Their union, RMT, issued formal notice of the ballot, which closes on December 15, after the company flatly refused to negotiate a fair pay rise and an end to zero-hours contracts – and instead lopped 20 per cent off room-cleaning times. Balloting begins today.
Adelphi staff and supporters will demonstrate their determination to win fair pay and conditions outside the hotel on Friday 2nd December, at 08:00 and again at 16:00.
The Adelphi’s owners became an early favourite for scrooge employer of the year after boosting profits by 40 per cent to £1.14 million and handing out a dividend of £35 million – while demanding that housekeepers clean more rooms in less time and even denying staff free use of the hotel car-park.
The union wants the hotel to pay the National Living Wage Foundation’s minimum rate of £8.45 an hour, guarantee staff a minimum level of hours to introduce some financial security and ensure adequate staffing levels.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The Adelphi has benefited massively from the increase in tourism that Liverpool has enjoyed in recent years, and all we have asked is that hotel staff get a fair share of the profits their hard work has generated.
“Britannia can clearly afford to pay a living wage, but so far they have chosen to bury their heads in the sand and demand even more work from staff who are already over-stretched and grotesquely underpaid.
“Britannia boss Alex Langsam has amassed a personal fortune of £220 million on the back of poverty wages and is now on the Sunday Times Rich List, and our members are telling us that they will no longer accept being treated like Victorian-era servants.
“We have even had to complain to the Information Commissioner over the hotel’s use of CCTV with sound to spy on the workforce.
“Britannia Adelphi bosses now have a choice. They can carry on down the road to confrontation or they can sit around the table and hammer out a deal that reflects the true value of their staff – and we are ready to talk when they are.”