Unite the Union is facing criticism for signing a deal with the firm that runs American hotel chain Marriott, which was named as one of the UK’s worst “minimum wage dodgers” in a roll of shame published by the government this week.
Unite has signed a contract with the firm’s parent company Starwood to operate a hotel at its new £35m national education centre and conference facility in Birmingham, which will also house its regional office.
Unite’s annual return for 2016 reveals that Blackhorse, a Unite subsidiary set up to develop the site, signed a leasehold deal in March last year Starwood. It will open one of its “Aloft” hotels in the building.
Marriott was one of 179 companies fined for paying staff less than the minimum wage, according to a list published the Business department.
Glad to see companies who break minimum wage legislation being named & shamed. The minimum wage has been around for 20 years now. You would expect companies, especially the size of @wagamama_uk, @TGIFridays & @Marriott to understand it by now. No excuses. https://t.co/sedIN7kwxr
— Laura Pidcock MP (@LauraPidcockMP) March 9, 2018
Marriott has also been fined by US authorities for tax avoidance.
It has close ties with former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who sits on the company’s board.
The hotel group failed to pay £71,217 to 79 workers in the UK, although the company insisted it did so in error.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady told the Daily Mirror: “Employers who cheat their staff out of the minimum wage deserve to be named and shamed. And they will rightly face hefty financial penalties.
“Minimum wage dodgers must have nowhere to hide”.
Except, perhaps, in a hotel next door to the country’s biggest trade union, which is presumably profiting handsomely from the deal.