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Ealing Council adopts London Living Wage
Ealing Times
Bianca Matley

May 20, 2011
View the Original Article


Ealing is one of only five of the capital’s 32 councils paying London Living Wage to sub-contracted workers.

The wage, as announced earlier this month, is now £8.30 per hour. This is an increase of 5.7% from 2010, and 24% in the six years since its introduction at £6.70.

Ealing Council adopted the wage, which is the minimum hourly wage necessary for housing, food and other basic needs for an individual and their family, in 2007.

A council spokesman said: “This council believes that all members of our community have the right to earn a living wage.

"As community leaders this Council will work with partners in seeking to deliver the living wage across Ealing."

Newly signed up to the wage are 12 major private sector companies and in total there are now over 100 London-based employers signed up to the LLW.

However, the retail sector – the largest poverty-wage payer in the capital, is the next frontier for the campaign and a sector that heavily exists in Ealing’s high streets.

In the seventh LLW annual report, London Mayor Boris Johnson, said: “There is still work to do before all Londoners are paid a decent wage.

“Paying the London Living Wage is not only morally right - with the potential to massively reduce child poverty in London - but also it makes good business sense.”

The first retail chain to sign up was the cosmetics chain ‘Lush’, on April 20.

Founder and chief executive, Mark Constantine, said: "I take pride in being an ethical retailer, but my staff were putting in a 40-hour week for me, and then having to moonlight because I was not paying them enough.

“In retail, it is obvious that the people at the bottom of the chain do the real work, putting in long hours, and that they get paid very poorly.”

Seen as a “landmark move” in the London Citizens campaign, they hope that this will encourage large retailers such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Body Shop, to do the same.

A Marks & Spencer employee, who works as a cleaner for ICM cleaning company, said: “I work seven days a week and like many other cleaners I have to get up at 3 o'clock in the morning to get to work from Leytonstone where I live. We can't afford the tube and I spend two hours one way to get to work. My morning shift is only four hours.”

London Citizens will be introducing the Living Wage Foundation this year, which aims to help by awarding LLW employer marks to show who is signed up.