March 1, 2009

Union head basks in luxury hotel

The British trade union Unite confirms its co-leader, Derek Simpson, stayed in a lavish London hotel suite rather than face his 35-minute commute home.

The Daily Mail reported Sunday the trade union confirmed reports Simpson, 64, spent four nights recently in a suite at London's Waldorf Hilton hotel and charged the $570 a night cost to the union.

The hotel stay occurred despite the fact Simpson lives only 35 minutes away by train from the union official's London office. The union official also had access to a chauffeur-driven union car.

Simpson, according to the union, defended the lavish hotel stay by claiming his performance would suffer if the union prioritized cheapness of accommodation above appropriate facilities and location.

The Mail said Simpson has been an outspoken critic of banking officials who have been receiving high salaries and pension payouts during the recession.