Anyone off to the Old Vic tomorrow evening will be greeted by Canary Wharf's cleaners as part of a delegation from the Transport and General Workers Union in an attempt to raise public awareness of their campaign for a living wage. Morgan Stanley who are sponsoring the Kevin Spacey play National Anthems are accused by the union of treating their cleaning staff unfairly. T&G organiser Paul Davies says:
"Cleaners who earn under £6 an hour in Europe's most expensive capital will be saying to theatre lovers 'A good play? We just want fair play!' Morgan Stanley is, quite rightly, proud of the voluntary work its workers do and the donations it makes to help the poor of London. We just think they should do more for the poor who work in their own buildings."
The T&G is calling for a living wage of £6.70 an hour, 28 days paid holiday a year, sick pay, a company pension and respect. The £5.74 an hour paid to cleaners at Canary Wharf is contrasted with the £13 million earned by Morgan Stanley’s chief executive last year:
"Even at £6.70 an hour it will take a cleaner eighteen years to earn Philip Purcell's weekly wage"
The Canary Wharf cleaners will be outside the Old Vic theatre from 6.45pm to 7.30pm to hand out leaflets pressing their case and have invited artistic director Kevin Spacey to meet with them.
Londonist may think Canary Wharf a vapid, soulless place, but you can't say it isn't always sparkling. Seeing as Morgan Stanley managed a whopping $4.49 billion profit last year we hope they do the right thing and give in to the demands for an extra quid per hour. If not they may find themselves compared to that other successful company Wolfram & Hart.