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Global Cities at Work: The role of low paid migrant labour in London’s economy . Dr Kavita Datta School of Geography Queen Mary University of London. Aims of Presentation. Examine the processes through which London’s low wage economy has come to rely upon migrant men and women
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Global Cities at Work: The role of low paid migrant labour in London’s economy
One-half arrived in the UK in or after 2001
Over one-third (36%) migrated to UK between 1991- 2000
Asia (Sri Lanka) and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania)
Migrant division of labour interplays with gender and racial division of labour¾ of cleaners on the Underground: Black Africans¼ of office cleaners: Latin Americaover ¼ of workers in hospitality: Eastern EuropeMost workers in construction: Brazilians and PolesWomen predominantly employed in ‘semi-private’ spheres (care and hospitality), men in ‘semi-public’ spaces (construction)
Average earnings of £5.45/hr
More than 90% earned below the London Living Wage (£6.70 per hour)
- One half no annual pay rise
- One third never had pay rise
- Half lost pay for taking time off for emergencies
- Over half (52%) did not receive sick pay
- Two thirds (67%) received statutory minimum paid
annual leave (20 days inc bank holidays or fewer days)
- Over two thirds (70%) had no access to company
- Over half (55%) worked unsociable hours
“many people think that we immigrants are used to cleaning in our country but there are many immigrants who were solicitors, accountants, and in different professions. We are not just worth nothing, we have some value.” (Pedro, office cleaner from Brazil)
“You’re [migrants] are portrayed as all these criminals, and yet we actually hold the keys to all of these buildings, ‘cause we are the cleaners. We are the guards. We lock up and we close down. And we are so untrustworthy? …If Africans went on strike, there’d be no security men, there’d be no trained nurses on the wards, there’d be no cleaners, there’d be…no traffic wardens. All the jobs that nobody else wants to do.” (Interview with representative of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK)
Details of published journal articles, book chapters and working papers available from:http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/globalcities/index.htmlProject outputs