Boris donor’s exclusive club accused of victimising migrant workers

The club's owner gave £250,000 to UKIP but pays porters just £9 an hour.

Kitchen porters at an upmarket private members’ club in Mayfair have accused their Brexiteer boss of victimising them.

The porters say that eight of them were suspended on “trumped-up charges” by outsourcing company ActClean after the launch of a campaign for a living wage and sick pay.

Prior to the launch of this campaign, porters say they were paid only £8.65 an hour. The campaign forced the owners to raise this to £9 an hour but the London Living Wage is £10.55 an hour.

The porters also say they are denied occupational sick pay, so they get no money at all the first three days they are off work with an illness and then are only paid £94.25 per week.

This means many of them are forced to work while they are ill, just to be able to pay their rent and keep the lights on.

The 5 Herford Street club has a shrine to Margaret Thatcher and is owned by an aristocrat called Robin Birley who has donated £20,000 to Boris Johnson, over £65,000 to the Conservative Party and £250,000 to UKIP.

Birley, who is Tory MP Zac Goldsmith’s half-brother, has also donated to Economists for Brexit and Tory MPs David Davis and Tania Matthias.

The president of the IWGB union Henry Chango Lopez said: “The 5 Hertford Street kitchen porters had a very simple and fair demand: to not be treated like the dirty dishes they clean.”

“Management’s response has been to intimidate workers with suspensions on absurd grounds. If Robin Birley can had over £250,000 to racists like UKIP and Boris Johnson, he can pay his workers a living wage.”

“We demand an end to all victimisation and that these workers be employed on fair terms and conditions.”

Other directors of 5 Hertford Street are Ben Goldsmith and Jamie Reuben, the son of a billionaire and a director of QPR Football Club.

The IWGB union are asking the public to sign a petition supporting their campaign.

4 Responses to “Boris donor’s exclusive club accused of victimising migrant workers”

  1. Gary

    I can appreciate that to the author £9 an hour and no sick pay must seem terribly draconian and unusual. I agree that it ISN’T anywhere near enough and that sick pay SHOULD be universal but it certainly isn’t unusual.

    Pay on this level and lower is commonplace, these porters are not an outlier, nor is the situation with sick pay.

    I agree with your article wholeheartedly but please understand that these porters are far from being alone. The area I live in doesn’t have well paid job opportunities and employers make the most of it, paying wages so low that they have to be subsidised by WTC (if you’re eligible) or leaving others in abject poverty.

    So, at least don’t portray this as something unusual, it isn’t. ALL workers should be on a living wage, not JUST these porters. I’ve seen wages much worse than this, why not name and shame those employers too! It’s just a bit galling to see this article when I get paid a lot less than they do and no one’s trying to help me…

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