Last Saturday, cleaners from the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) protested outside of the London Elizabeth Hotel in Hyde Park after the London Elizabeth Hotel and outsourced company PRIDEGREEN repeatedly failed to pay them their furlough wages.
One cleaner, Mildre was forced to resign in May 2021 due to the lack of payment. Miluska Llanos Arrieta, another employee, is missing 5 months’ wages to date.
Miluska Llanos Arrieta said: “Since the pandemic started it’s been a constant fight with this company to claim our furlough wages. From the start they denied my right to be in this government job support scheme. After many complaints they started to pay me my delayed March furlough wages in June 2020, provoking a lot of economic problems, affecting my housing, food, bills, and my family. I spent most of the pandemic demanding that they pay us and up until today they still owe me many months of wages.”
The most recent HMRC public records show that PRIDEGREEN LTD consistently applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, claiming between £10,000-25,000 per month between December 2020 and June 2021. During this time, cleaners were left without a livelihood at the height of the pandemic.
Henry Chango Lopez, Secretary of the IWGB, says: “It’s totally outrageous that PRIDEGREEN has continued to claim the CJPS money yet has failed to pay its key workers time and time again. PRIDEGREEN left its employees struggling at the height of the pandemic without a livelihood. We demand that London Elizabeth Hotel and PRIDEGREEN respect basic employment rights and immediately treat its workers with respect and pay them the money they are legally entitled to.”
IWGB first intervened in June 2020 after cleaners were not paid furlough wages, and the case was escalated to an ACAS claim. The wages for April to June were eventually paid but IWGB has been forced to intervene several times since with PRIDEGREEN repeatedly failing to pay wages on time or at all.