KGB exposed in Palace scandal!
KNEW that would attract your interest! (Unless you're too young to remember who the KGB were). But no, I have not dragged up more information about Anthony Blunt, and have nothing to contribute to current "Russian spy" stories. The KGB that has moved into Buckingham Palace now is not the old Soviet secret police and intelligence institution but a cleaning firm. It's still a scandal.
Left-wing Labour MP John McDonnell has tabled an early day motion in the Commons:
That this House notes that the Royal Family currently receive £30 million annually from the public purse, in part for the cleaning of the occupied Royal Palaces which include Buckingham Palace, St James' Palace and Buckingham Palace Mews; further notes that two cleaning companies, KGB and Greenzone, contracted to clean the occupied Royal Palaces pay cleaners 6.45 an hour, significantly less than the London Living Wage of 7.85, endorsed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and now paid to cleaners working on the Parliamentary estate after a concerted campaign supported by hon. Members and trade unions; and calls on the Royal Household to commit to ensuring that the companies contracted to clean the occupied Royal Palaces pay their cleaning staff the London Living Wage.
With yet another Royal wedding coming up shortly, I suppose the family is hard up. I've not bought a present yet but I've not received my invitation either. The cleaners story did make the Sunday People at the weekend.
Commons attack on Queen for paying cleaners too little
Apr 3 2011 by Nigel Nelson, The People
The Queen has been branded a sweatshop employer for paying her cleaners a pittance.
Labour MP John McDonnell has tabled a motion calling on Her Maj to ensure palace workers have a decent wage.
He says the taxpayer hands the Queen £30million a year and some of that is spent on cleaners for royal households.
Yet he claims contractor KGB pays staff only £6.45 an hour. It beats the legal national minimum of £5.93 for workers 21 and over – but it is short of the £7.85 London living wage.
Mr McDonnell said that the living wage is “paid to cleaners working on the Parliamentary estate after a concerted campaign supported by MPs and trade unions”.
KGB, by coincidence the same name as the old Soviet Union’s spy agency, also has the contract for cleaning Parliament. The motion “calls on the royal household to ensure that companies contracted to clean palaces pay the London living wage”.
KGB did not respond to The People. Buckingham Palace said: “The royal household is funded by taxpayers and so must always strive to get the best value for money on their behalf. The royal household is always concerned to ensure staff employed by third parties get fair rates and proper conditions.”
Meanwhile, Prince William’s April 29 wedding to Kate Middleton is expected to produce a £3billion global market for souvenir mugs and other goods.
Online catalogue Catawiki said the “huge worldwide popularity” of the couple means plates will sell for £40. Charles and Camilla plates from 2005 go for 99p.
So forget your toasts to Lizzie Windsor aka Baronness Hard up, and raise a glass instead to Lizzie Woods and her sisters and brothers in PCS, campaigning to get the cleaners a living wage!
Labels: trade unions.