The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Citizens campaign group have agreed to work together to encourage Olympic contractors to pay the minimum London-weighted living wage of £7.05 an hour, as calculated by London mayor Ken Livingstone’s Living Wage Unit.
The ODA – the organisation responsible for delivering the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games – reached a consensus with London Citizens after a meeting last week.
ODA chief executive David Higgins said: “We cannot make the London Living Wage a blanket condition. However, for those tenders within London’s boundary, we will make it clear that we support the London Living Wage, and we will make it clear in the invitation to tender for ODA contracts that we want to see contractors adopting the best employment practices, including trade union recognition, absolute commitment to health and safety, and sufficient wage levels. These factors will be considered when we decide which contracts offer best value for money.
“We now have a mutual understanding with London Citizens and will continue to work with them and other key organisations to ensure the games deliver a lasting economic legacy for east London.”
Reverend Jan Atkins, a methodist minister at Stratford Methodist Church and one of London Citizens’ ‘Olympic’s Charter Action Team’, said: “London Citizens is delighted to have reached an understanding that the ODA will take a similar approach to procurement as the mayor, and use its considerable purchasing power to promote the London Living Wage.
“Since we Londoners are having to pay towards the cost of the ODA bill, it is only fair that there is some payback in a decent wage packet for the lowest paid workers on the site.”
The living wage for London was first calculated at £6.70 in April 2005. Livingstone said the increase reflected the rise in annual inflation and utility bills.