Campaigners are demanding Six Nations rugby grounds pay match day workers the “real” Living Wage.
Activists from pressure group Citizens UK called on bosses of England’s Twickenham, Wales’ Principality Stadium and Scotland’s Murrayfield to boost the wallets of casual staff employed by third party contractors.
They want the venues to ensure employees of outside firms providing staff for catering, cleaning and security receive at least the rate approved by the Living Wage Foundation.
The voluntary level is £9 an hour, rising to £10.55 in London where costs are higher.
In contrast, the Government’s legal minimum wage is £7.83 for workers aged 25 and over, £7.38 for those aged 21 to 24, and just £5.90 for workers aged 18 to 20.
Citizens UK researchers found jobs for Sunday’s England v France clash being advertised at £7.83 an hour through a recruitment firm specialising in casual work.
The group also said workers at the Principality Stadium they spoke to said they received either £7.83 or £7.50 an hour, depending on their ages.
And a third-party firm is advertising “numerous position” for Six Nations games at Murrayfield, Edinburgh which “pay a minimum of £7.38 to £8”.
Meanwhile, a Survation polls shows 68% of people quizzed want top clubs and sporting bodies to prioritise paying the real Living Wage to all staff.
A separate online survey showed 93% of sports fans think top sporting institutions should make paying staff the real Living Wage a priority above issues like ticket price rises.
Labour MP Jo Stevens, whose Cardiff Central constituency includes the Principality Stadium, said: “It’s not radical to say that every job in Wales should pay enough to live on.
“Welsh rugby upholds the highest standards on and off the pitch and during the Six Nations, the Principality Stadium has the chance to make a massive difference to the lives of the people who work hard in the stadium to make the tournament a success by stepping up and paying the real Living Wage.”
One Principality stadium cleaner said: “It is a hard job working at Principality Stadium.
“The shifts are long, and you are on your feet all day.
“We would love to be paid a real Living Wage, it would make a huge difference to my life.”
Citizens UK executive director Matthew Bolton said: “Stadiums like Principality, Twickenham and Murrayfield hosting the Six Nations have become hugely profitable enterprises.
“Yet right under our noses, as our national teams play, people who make these games possible are living in poverty.
“It is unjust that cleaners, caterers and security guards are trapped in working poverty when profits at sports clubs and venues are ballooning.
“We’re calling on all staff to get a real Living Wage based on the true cost of living.”
Football clubs including Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, West Ham and Luton are accredited Living Wage employers, paying all their directly employed and third-party staff the voluntary rate.
Analysts calculate the voluntary rate taking into account costs like housing, travel and healthy food, and extras like kids’ birthday presents.
Bosses say it helps companies’ reputations, employee retention and boosts staff motivation.
A Welsh Rugby Union spokesperson said:
“All permanent WRU Group, and therefore Principality Stadium, staff are paid, at least, the Real Living Wage. This includes match-day stewards and security staff and employees in our hospitality areas.
“The WRU is a not-for-profit organisation with all proceeds earned by Welsh international rugby and the Principality Stadium event business fed directly back into the game, both at grassroots and professional levels.
“Due to the sporadic nature of the Principality Stadium events calendar – we host between 5 and 7 Welsh rugby internationals a season and all other major events (apart from Judgement Day) are put on by third party event owners at their discretion – we do employ some contracted workers at, infrequent, peak times.
“We do not seek to dictate to these contractors, who provide some cleaning and catering staff, the terms upon which they must employ their own staff and do not feel in a position to do so.”