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Foreign workers in UK hospitality sector suffer low wages, harassment & health issues, Financial Times reports; incl. co comments

Author: Robert Wright and Camilla Hodgson, Financial Times, Published on: 6 May 2019

"Foreign cleaners expose lack of protection in UK labour market", 2 May 2019

The majority of the complaints come from Latin American women... Many of those concerned give strikingly similar accounts of struggling to secure even the modest wages they are due, facing frequently difficult workloads and sometimes harassment, bullying and health problems [...] from exposure to powerful cleaning fluids...

These stories about the treatment of staff at the cleaning companies working in Britain’s hospitality industry raise difficult questions about both the outsourcing sector and the capacity of the government to tackle abuse at work...

The outsourcing companies in the cleaning sector insist that staff complaints stem from isolated oversights or misunderstandings. Some have introduced systems such as third-party operated phone lines where staff can make complaints about their treatment...

Ms Ferro [who supplies cleaning and other domestic staff to hotels through various companies she owns] rejects allegations about the treatment of people working for her... 

Conversations with cleaners working in the sector suggest that the safeguards that some companies have introduced are far from universal and may be ineffective when staff are alone late at night or early in the morning with only their immediate managers...

Anup Sarin, director of operations for Aristel Hotels, says he is unaware of any complaints regarding treatment of staff on the company’s premises...

Mr Cherian, general manager of the three Seraphine Hotels [...] insists he never heard of any problems for staff working at the hotels through Ms Ferro’s company...

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Related companies: Aristel Hotels Seraphine Hotels