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St Antony’s Catholic Primary School

Meet the Kids Who Won Their Parents a Living Wage With a Protest Song!

“Realise, Wake Up, Pay Up” was performed for London City Airport during a campaign to get local employers to pay the London Living Wage.

The song was backed up by a rap about parents who never saw their children because they had to work so many jobs.

Under pressure from a church primary school in one of the country’s most deprived areas, City Airport, currently in the middle of a £500million ­expansion plan, decided to
pay up.

Introducing the independently calculated London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour from July means a £1,500-a-year pay rise for contractors, including cleaners and security staff.

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With over 60% of the staff living within five miles of the runway, the children are in no doubt who will benefit. “Our parents will be less stressed than before,” head girl Zeruiah Adomako, 11, tells me. “We can go on school trips, our lunch meals will be better. We’ll get more time with our families because our parents won’t always be working.” Adam Hajkowski, 11, nods. “Parents can get presents for their children on their birthdays,” he says.

Other children talk about having a hot meal or being able to go to the cinema or even save for a holiday when their parents are paid properly. This week the school found out they have been shortlisted for a Living Wage Champion Award with Newham Citizens. “This fight was David and Goliath,” deputy head Yvonne Wade tells me.

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