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Royal Wedding Special No 1: a living wage for royal cleaners

Guests at the royal wedding reception on Friday will no doubt find the royal staterooms at Buckingham Palace clean and spotless for the occasion. Will and Kate will no doubt be shocked to hear that the cleaners who will have made it that way are paid just £6.45 an hour. The same applies to the cleaners at both the groom’s pad (Clarence House) and his dad’s place in town (St James’s Palace), where they’ll be spending the night before the party. Thanks to the PCS, the royal cleaners’ trade union, they will have the chance to pop along tomorrow to just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace from 12 noon to 2pm to lobby for a living wage for their hardworking cleaners. They and other supporters are being asked to bring mops and buckets.

The royal cleaners 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 and Labour Leader Ed Miliband, is already paid to cleaners in the Palace of Westminster.

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.”

If you can’t get along tomorrow, please sign this petition.

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