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Royal cleaners: ‘£7.85 an hour? It’s hardly a king’s ransom’

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Union activists joined a protest outside Buckingham Palace the day before the royal wedding as part of the campaign to win the royals’ cleaners the London Living Wage.
Issue 2250

Union activists joined a protest outside Buckingham Palace the day before the royal wedding as part of the campaign to win the royals’ cleaners the London Living Wage.

The PCS civil service workers’ union is campaigning to get the cleaners onto the £7.85 hourly rate—up from their current £6.45.

Two private contractors—KGB Holdings and Greenzone—employ the cleaners. But the PCS believes moral responsibility for the workers lies with the royal household.

“The staff will be cleaning during the wedding without receiving bank holiday pay,” says Keith Johnston, a PCS regional organiser.

“The union is protecting the cleaners’ anonymity as they are worried about being victimised.

“We have launched a petition, and so far more than 1,700 people have signed.

“The royal household has indicated that it is willing to talk about higher pay, but there has been no commitment to the London Living Wage.

“We will be submitting the petition to the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, as the department for media, culture and sport holds the purse strings for the civil list, which funds the royals.

“We will keep up the pressure on the contractors, the royal household and the government over this issue.”

John McDonnell, the left wing Labour MP who chairs the PCS’s parliamentary group, attended the protest.

He told Socialist Worker, “While large amounts of money has been spent on the royal wedding, the people who clean the palaces are not being properly paid.

“We’ve been campaigning in parliament about this and held meetings with ministers.”

Sign the petition for royal cleaners to get paid the London Living Wage, go to

www.gopetition.com/petitions/royal-cleaners.html

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