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We’ll Pay £7.85 an Hour Living Wage, Say Chiefs Recruiting 130,000 for Olympics
London Evening Standard
Matthew Beard

December 13, 2010
View the Original Article

Olympics bosses pledged today to support the London Living Wage as they recruit 130,000 people in Britain's biggest peacetime mobilisation of a labour force.

London 2012 is hiring temporary staff in some of the economy's lowest-paid sectors, such as security, catering, cleaning and waste services.

Games organiser Locog said that “wherever possible” the £700 million of contracts would be awarded on condition that firms pay the London Living Wage. The City Hall-endorsed rate, which aims to help lift Londoners out of poverty, is £7.85 per hour.

Sixty catering contracts will be awarded next month.

Of the 200,000 people being taken on, 130,000 will be paid workers and 70,000 will be volunteers known as “Games makers”.

Games bosses are also being urged to discriminate in favour of Olympic boroughs. The London Assembly has re-minded Locog of a pledge to hire 15 to 20 per cent of the workforce from the five host boroughs, and seven to 12 per cent from among the unemployed.

The host boroughs are home to some of Britain's most deprived communities, with employment rates and qualification levels significantly lower than the rest of the capital.

Len Duvall, chairman of the Assembly's economic development committee, said: “Whether paid or voluntary, working at the Olympics is an aspiration for many in London, and in particular in the East End, but lack of opportunity or formal qualifications can often hold people back.”

Locog said: “We make clear in all our significant people-related contracts that we want all London 2012 direct contractors to be paid the London Living Wage. We are in the process of appointing contractors and will build it into contracts wherever possible.”