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The national minimum wage, low pay and the UK hotel industry: The case of room attendants

Warhurst, C. and Lloyd, C. and Dutton, Eli (2008) The national minimum wage, low pay and the UK hotel industry: The case of room attendants. Sociology, 42 (6). pp. 1128-1236. ISSN 0038-0385

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Abstract

This article examines low pay and the national minimum wage in the UK hotel industry, focusing on the lowest remunerated workers in the industry - room attendants - who have hitherto been overlooked in studies of the industry. It draws on qualitative research from eight case studies and relates this material to other secondary data. By including employees' experience, it reveals the management and employment practices that have limited the effect of the national minimum wage and attempts to alleviate low pay.The article ends by suggesting how this employee experience can be transmuted into political voice to improve the position of low wage workers.