Opinion Former Article

PCS: Royal watchers asked to back living wage for cleaners

Royal watchers will be asked by the Public and Commercial and Services union to support a campaign to pay cleaners in the Royal Household a living wage.

The union will be outside the gates to Buckingham Palace from 12 noon to 2pm tomorrow (28 Apr) with a giant 'fair pay for royal cleaners' card for members of the public to sign. Cleaners in Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace and Clarence House who are paid just £6.45 an hour are campaigning for an increase to the 'London living wage' of £7.85 an hour.

The London living wage, introduced by previous Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and endorsed by current mayor Boris Johnson, is paid to cleaners in the houses of parliament. The royal cleaners are employed by two private contractors, KGB Holdings and Greenzone, but the union believes ultimate responsibility rests with the Royal Household, which receives around £30 million a year from taxpayers - half of which is for upkeep of the occupied palaces.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "As the royals prepare for the prince's lavish wedding on Friday, our members are being treated like paupers.

"The royal family is seen as a major contributor to the tourist industry and many people visit London specifically to see the palaces. We'll be asking them to show their support for the people on poverty pay who keep these palaces clean."

ENDS

Notes

- For information and interview requests contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216

- The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has more than 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich - on Twitter @janicegodrich

- Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

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