Pay

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-07-23
Session date: 
July 23, 2014
Reference: 
2014/2767
Question By: 
Fiona Twycross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Should employers pay the London Living Wage when they can afford to do so?

Answer

Answer for Pay

Answer for Pay

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, I do encourage all employers to pay the LLW where they can afford to do so.  I certainly do that.  You may be about to bring up the case again of the Brixton cinema.  I do not necessarily want to join in strike action.  I believe these matters should be settled by persuasion.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  Yes, thank you.  I received your letter yesterday and I was pleased that you had discussed this with Picturehouse Cinemas.  I am not sure I was actually asking you to get involved in the strike action but I do think it is regrettable that you are refusing to meet the Ritzy cinema workers, who had a more positive view of you than I suggested might be the case in terms of whether you would meet.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Oh, no, do not tell me.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  They will be genuinely disappointed that you will not meet them ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am very sorry.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  ‑‑ to talk to them about their frustrations.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Have you actually asked me to meet them?

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  I did ask you to meet them.  That is what we discussed at the last MQT.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  What did I say?

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  You said it would depend on your diary and then we received a letter saying point blank that you do not want to meet them.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  All right.  Oh dear, I am very sorry.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  It is a shame because they genuinely wanted to engage with you and talk with you about their frustrations.  This is your opportunity to reconsider before I ring them this afternoon and tell them that you are not going to meet them.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am sorry we have not been able to find time so far.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  It was less about the time.  It was quite clear from the letter that you were not intending to meet them.  It was not about the time in the letter, but we can revisit that with your diary.  I wanted to ask you about something else ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  It is very difficult.  I would love to help the employees of the Brixton Ritzy cinema.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  It is just frustrating because you engage with the employers ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not believe that I would necessarily ‑‑

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  ‑‑ but not with the workers.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Let us be clear.  There is a dispute going on between them and Picturehouse and Curzon who are not accredited to the LLW.  I would encourage Picturehouse and Curzon to become accredited to the LLW.  That is the best I can say.  I believe I have written to them, by the way.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  Yes, you have.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I have written to them.  Thank you.  I have done, Fiona, already what you urge me to do.  That is probably the best I can do.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  The frustration is that ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I know that there are fans on the eighth floor of the Ritzy cinema and who go to it and who hope that the strike will end soon.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  Yes, we all hope the strike will end soon and it would have been helpful if you had met them as you suggested you might last time.  In a recent ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  What could I have done?

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  It is about them understanding ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Give me a clue.  What could I have told them?  What could I have told them that would have actually helped?

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  It is about speaking on their side.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I have written to Picturehouse and to Curzon, and I have done my best to intercede on their behalf.  People might say I was band-wagonning and opportunistic.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  I wanted to ask a separate point ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I would be accused of a pointless photo shoot.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  If I can ask a separate point, you assumed that my question was about the Ritzy.  I wanted to ask why at the London Assembly we are not paying people on traineeships.  You have previously stated that all former work experience should be paid and suggested that at the GLA they should get the LLW.  We have young people starting traineeships soon that are going to undertake real work at the GLA for three days a week for 12 weeks, which sounds remarkably like an internship and I just wonder whether you did not think they deserved to be paid for their work like apprentices who also study alongside their work experience.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am not familiar with that.  Are you saying we have loads of people who are not ‑‑

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  In the scheme here, you have stated that anybody on work experience here on internships and things like that should be paid the LLW at the GLA.  You have said that on a number of occasions.  I will send you the information but I am quite disturbed that we are going to have young people on traineeships here, which just sounds a bit like splitting hairs in terms of what we call things.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Young people are doing fantastically well to get traineeships.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  So they should not be paid?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I would much rather see people in a place of work than ‑‑

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  With no pay?  They are not being paid.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Whether they are doing jobs in the sense of ‑‑

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  How can people who have no money afford to do these traineeships if they are not being paid?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I will look at the evidence ‑‑

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  I will send you the information and I will expect a full reply.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am in favour of people getting into a place of work and learning the skills that go with it.

 

Fiona Twycross AM:  With no pay?  Thank you.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I will see if what you are saying is true and I am not certain that it is.

Commitment