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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 July 2018

Victory for London's young workers in privatiser's non-payment of 'living wage' scandal

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Unite the Union has won a victory in its campaign to make London leisure services privatiser Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) pay the London Living Wage (LLW) to those aged 18 to 20.

Unite announced on 28 June that Tower Hamlets council had brought forward an agreement with GLL to pay the living wage from September, with pay backdated to April 2018.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: "We regard this as a significant victory in our campaign to achieve LLW pay justice for young people employed in London boroughs by GLL."

Onay Kasab added: "Tower Hamlets had originally agreed with GLL that workers under 21 would have to wait until April 2019 to get the LLW, despite workers aged 21 and over doing the same work and getting the LLW.

"Our campaign putting GLL and Tower Hamlets under the spotlight has led to GLL agreeing to pay for and bring forward the increase to September this year and the council paying for the increase from April.

"Workers under 21 will now receive the LLW backdated to April 2018. The increase will be from 8.10 per hour to the LLW of 10.20 an hour - that's an increase of 21% on the hourly rate.

"This is a great win for young workers. We made the point, again and again, that the high cost of living in London impacts on workers no matter what your age. There is no young person's discount on food and rent - and so there should be no age discrimination on wages either.

"We believe that up to 1,000 young people in London have been 'short changed' by GLL over the LLW - and we will not cease our fight until pay justice has been achieved for young people working for GLL in one of the world's most expensive cities."

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