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Arsenal urged to press harder for living wage

The London Living Wage is £9.40 an hour and will rise to almost £10 next year, but bar-tending jobs still pay as little as £7.90.

28 November, 2016 — By Joe Cooper

Cllr Andy Hull: ‘If the council can do it, why can’t Arsenal?’

THE campaign to get Arsenal, the sixth-richest football club in the world, to pay the living wage to all staff who work at the Emirates Stadium is ramping up once more.

One year on from the visit by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan to the stadium to press the issue, little seems to have changed.

All directly-employed staff, including stewards, are paid above the London Living Wage, but that still leaves potentially hundreds of contracted cleaning and catering staff being paid less than they can afford to live on, according to Town Hall finance chief Andy Hull.

The London Living Wage is £9.40 an hour and will rise to almost £10 next year, but bar-tending jobs still pay as little as £7.90.

Cllr Hull will be meeting members of North London Citizens on Tuesday to discuss the next steps.

Arsenal has said discussions about the living wage are made with third-party contractors when contracts, some worth millions of pounds, come up for renewal.

But Councillor Hull believes Arsenal should do more by pushing for companies to increase wages, even before contracts come up for renewal, as Islington Council has done with its own contractors.

“The dignity of decent pay looks like it could still be some way off for Arsenal’s legion of contracted caterers and cleaners,” he said. “Meanwhile, they’ll carry on doing a hard day’s work for less than they can live on, at the world’s sixth-richest football club.”

He added: “If the council can do it, why can’t Arsenal?”

A club spokesman said: “Our employees and workers are paid an hourly rate above the London Living Wage. Rates for all our employees already exceed the government’s 2020 national living wage target. It also goes beyond the Premier League’s resolution last season.”

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