Jeremy Corbyn calls for Arsenal to “set example” to London by paying living wage

Mr Corbyn with Gunners fans outside Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire

Mr Corbyn with Gunners fans outside Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Arsenal fans, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, called for the club to pay London’s living wage in a protest outside Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham, Gunners fan and Islington North MP Mr Corbyn - sporting a red and white Arsenal scarf - joined the small protest outside the ground.

Though Arsenal pays the £9.40 an hour London living wage to staff it directly employs, it is not the case for third-party employees such as cleaners and caterers.

Mr Corbyn, joined by Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, joked that “we think” the players are already paid the living wage.

He added: “It’s a real living wage we are campaigning for. It is about social justice, it is about young people and big clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and so on can set an example for the rest of London.”

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The protest was days after Islington Council urged every employer in the borough to “do the right thing” and pay the living wage.

But an Arsenal spokesperson said: “We pay all our people [permanent and fixed term employees] good rates which are above the London living wage.

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“As an example, matchday stewards are paid £9.50 an hour. This means that rates for all our employees already exceed the Government’s 2020 national living wage target. It also goes beyond the Premier League’s recent resolution which we fully supported.

“In terms of third party contractors, pay conditions form part of our renewal discussions as those contracts come up for renewal. Our recent maintenance contract with CBRE, for example, contains an undertaking by CBRE that their employees are paid at least the London living wage.

“Pay conditions will form a part of the discussion when our cleaning contract comes up for renewal and are included in on-going discussions with our caterers.”

Additional reporting by Amy Coles.

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