Park Plaza Investigation

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Friday 31 July 2009 9.32am
This looks like very good investigative work by the BBC (http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/4032).

It's shocking that people can still be made to work for less than the National Minimum Wage in central London. Did anyone else find that Park Plaza's statement about their knowledge of the subcontractor's alleged activities ("We are very distressed and upset at these allegations about our sub contractor Hotelcare Ltd and we take them very seriously.") reminiscent of the police inspector in Casablanca's shock at finding that gambling was going on in Rick's bar ("I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!"). These people didnt talk to the workers they worked alongside at all? Or wonder how the subcontractor made money on the contracts they offered? Apparently not. Hopefully they, and others in similar positions, will be more vigilant in the future.

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Friday 31 July 2009 12.23pm
Whether or not the 'victims' worked directly or indirectly for the Park Plaza, surely the Plaza had at least a moral obligation to ensure the staff were being paid a fair wage.

As for the contractor/employer, Hotelcare, they should compensate each and every worker the difference between what they were paid and the NMW PLUS interest.

The Plaza also ought to consider the appropriateness of its contract with this company too. Surely it would make better financial sense for them to directly employ the staff, thereby enabling them to make a saving and pay the staff more. Just a thought...
Friday 31 July 2009 9.55pm
Coincidentally, a colleague of mine stayed at said Park Plaza County Hall hotel for business last week. She observed there were lots of Brazilian tourists staying so hotel is probably marketing to Brazil. When she checked in, she complained that her hotel room was untidy and on her first morning, she had to call the front desk to use another bathtub because the one in her room still had soap scum from the prior guest. She checked out the next morning. She has already submitted a complaint to our company's travel department and Carlson Wagonlit.

Set wages in accordance to number of rooms cleaned and you're going to get poorly cleaned rooms. Adversely, the hotel will not gain return customer business. It goes to show: you always get what you pay for.
Friday 31 July 2009 10.16pm
Otto wrote:
Set wages in accordance to number of rooms cleaned and you're going to get poorly cleaned rooms.

Though the hotel claims it had no idea this was happening and indeed says it was "very distressed and upset" when the BBC exposed it.

I'd be very interested to know which other hotels in the area use the same contractor.

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