Award winning film director Ken Loach has issued an impassioned appeal for support for the porters and cleaners due to strike at the Royal Opera House for the Living Wage during the BAFTA awards.
The porters and cleaners who employed by sub-contractor MITIE, are members of the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) – they voted by 100% in a ballot to strike for the London Living Wage of £8.80 per-hour. The BAFTA awards will be held on Sunday 16th cleaners will strike over the whole weekend. Ken Loach who was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006 in a message of solidarity to IWGB states:
“I send you my very warmest good wishes in your struggle for a living wage. Everyone has the right to be paid a fair wage so that they can live in security and with dignity. The Royal Opera House management cannot escape responsibility. They employ the sub-contractor, Mitie.
They should make payment of the London Living Wage a condition of the contract. I bet the management don’t have to live on starvation wages! You should have the support of all trades unionists. No-one should cross your picket lines. The union leaders must call on their members to show their solidarity with you by respecting your picket. BAFTA has a particular responsibility. Many of its members would claim to be in favour of social justice and against gross inequality. Let them show that commitment by standing alongside you when the red carpet is rolled out. Good luck from Ken Loach and all at Sixteen Films”
“People attending the Royal Opera House need to know that when they leave it will be workers on poverty pay that clean up after them. I urge them to join with us in pressing the Opera House management to demand their contractors pay a living wage.”
Talks took place at ACAS on Tuesday 14th between IWGB and MITIE, discussions continue with the ROH. Chris Ford IWGB General Secretary says: “For a mere 0.15% of the Royal Opera House annual income the poverty pays of the porters and cleaners could be ended. Support for the strike will be solid and already many direct employees at the ROH have stated they will not cross the picket line at the BAFTAs strike”.