Hilton Hurts too


After today's, (16/05/12) joint demonstration by Unite the Union Hotel Workers and delegates from London Citizens at London's Park Lane Hilton a strange story is emerging about how the "Hilton Family" looks after its staff. A Hilton spokesman, quoted in London's Evening Standard paper of 16th May, 2012 said "cleaners were paid per hour, mostly at the minimum wage level, and not per room. However they were given a target of what they need to do in that hour".
One of Unite's members at the 4 star London Metropole Hilton, Barbara Pokryszka, a Polish room attendant, spoke of staff earning £3.00 per room and to have to do two rooms per hour to earn the Minimum Wage of £6.09 per hour.

We looked round at other Hilton Hotels in London to find a 4 star comparison. At the Double Tree by Hilton, Southampton Row, WC1 room attendants are expected to clean 16 rooms in 7.5 hours to earn £6.09 per hour. This is a rate of £2.85 per room cleaned.
But the most alarming news leaking out from Hilton is that the iconic 5 star Waldorf Hilton in Aldwych, one of London's most beautiful 5 star hotels, will from the end of this month be employing room cleaners to clean hotel rooms to the 5 star standard that Waldorf guests expect for £2.45 per room.
We will quote from the letter given to Waldorf room cleaners by Jani-King, the contractor to be appointed by Waldorf from the end of the month. These are not our words but the words of the Hilton appointed contractor:

  • "all housekeeping staff will remain on a rate that will meet National Minimum Wage requirements"
  •  "members of staff will be expected to achieve an average clean rate of 2.49 rooms per hour"
  • "it is our intention to increase your productivity from 28 May, 2012"
and in a beautiful example of doublespeak..."we will be undergoing a 4 weeks consultation process to look at all available options".
Our question to the Hilton Group is "How can you give 5 star service when you pay 3 star wages?".
We will expect to take this further with the Hilton Waldorf when we enter into negotiations to examine in detail this transfer of employment. We will also be raising the threat to one of our member's pensions. The Hilton has said bluntly "we are not going to pay into your pension fund when we transfer you".
We will be reporting on the progress of this specific negotiation "in real time" and on the website. We will be raising a grievance with the "transferor", the Waldorf Hilton and the "transferee", Jani-King.
Thank you to our Hotel Workers who came out today and also to the continuing support from London Citizens.