5 Hertford Street: Stop victimising migrant workers and pay them a Living Wage

Robin Birley, Owner of 5 Hertford Street, and John Stevenson, CEO ActClean


Kitchen porters at private members club 5 Hertford Street have been campaigning for months for a Living Wage, proper contractual sick pay and an end to outsourcing. Rather than negotiate with these workers and their union, the IWGB, the outsourcing company ActClean has decided to start victimising the workers, with seven having been suspended so far on trumped up charges.

5 Hertford Street is one of the most exclusive clubs in London, where annual membership allegedly costs £1,800 and it is reported that even some billionaires don't make the cut. It is owned by millionaire Brexiteer Robin Birley, who recently donated £20,000 to Boris Johnson's leadership campaign and had previously donated more than £250,000 to UKIP.

If Robin Birley has enough money to donate to racist politicians, he has enough money to pay the migrants that work at his club a living wage, with proper sick pay.

Before the IWGB began its campaign, kitchen porters were only paid £8.65 per hour, barely enough to survive in London. Under the pressure of the campaign the club was forced to increase them to £9 per hour, but that is still far below the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour. The porters continue to be 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 unwell, just to be able to pay their rent and keep the light on.

It is completely unacceptable that when workers started to fight back against these conditions their managers' response was this crass attempt at intimidation.

For more information read this article by the Guardian's Owen Jones, or the ongoing coverage by the Times here, here and here.

To: Robin Birley, Owner of 5 Hertford Street, and John Stevenson, CEO ActClean
From: [Your Name]

We consider the ongoing victimisation of kitchen porters at 5 Hertford Street, and management's continued failure to offer these workers proper pay and conditions completely unacceptable. That's why we demand that 5 Hertford Street and ActClean:

1) End all victimisation and reinstate all suspended kitchen porters
2) Guarantee to pay at least the London Living Wage
3) Introduce decent occupational sick pay
4) End the outsourcing of kitchen porters