Friday, 19 August 2011

The struggle for the living wage at Mitie

According to Iain Duncan Smith “work is good for you.” Try telling that to one of the cleaners at the benefits agency office in Newham and whose £6.30 an hour pay from Mitie group PLC means she needs a second job to survive.  She’s so exhausted that last year she twice experienced her “body closing down such that I thought I was dying.”

Although she preferred to remain anonymous she’s amongst a growing number, at the highly profitable company, that have joined the PCS. She’s glad to have done so saying “I don’t know what we would have done without it as we have increased our pay.” Now she dreams of having it further increased so she can work fewer hours and see more of her grandchildren.

To try and make that possible the PCS recently intervened at the Mitie AGM and after raising their concerns a meeting with Head of Facilities management Chris Townsend has been arranged to discuss demands for a living wage of £8.30 an hour. Meanwhile Denis Charles, a Mitie security guard at Bedford Magistrates Court, is attending a PCS workplace representative course that once he’s completed “will mean I can represent my colleagues.” 

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