update on cleaner activism in london

Alberto Durango’s appeal: A very lively demonstration of trade unionists joined victimised rep Alberto Durango at his appeal with Lancaster Cleaning Company on Friday 3rd July. The demonstration was endorsed by John McDonnell MP and numerous other figures from the labour movement.

The employer was presented with a powerful case for Alberto’s reinstatement and responded saying they are re-investigating as a result of new evidence. In fact the evidence in question was predominantly Lancaster’s own company records, an indictment of their decision to sack Alberto in the first place.

LRC Supports Willis cleaners and Alberto: The National Committee of the Labour Representation Committee has added its voice in support of the Willis cleaners and Alberto.

On Saturday 4th July the motion below was passed unanimously by the National Committee chaired by John McDonnell MP. The LRC includes the affiliated trade unions, RMT, FBU, CWU, ASLEF and the Bakers’ Union and the NUM.

The Labour Representation Committee endorses the Open Letter to Jack Dromey, UNITE Deputy General Secretary urging him to reverse the decision to withdraw the union’s support from the Mitie workers at Willis.

Latin American and African cleaners, all UNITE members, were sacked in December 2008 by their employer Mitie Cleaning & Support Services Ltd, after refusing company pressure to move from a 4 hour shift to an all night 8 hour shift; they received final dismissals after talks broke down over the start time of substitute working at other sites.

– We believe that the critical issue here is to trust in the workers’ version of events rather than the employer’s; the workers were NOT responsible for the breakdown in talks.
– We also believe that for the ‘Justice for Cleaners’ campaign to go forward the union must make every effort to regain the full trust of the sacked Mitie workers.
– We condemn as persecution the arrest of Alberto Durango, a cleaners branch committee member, at a time when he was giving valuable support to the Willis workers.
– We demand his reinstatement.
– We urge UNITE to reconsider, to re-establish full representation for these unfairly dismissed workers and campaign for their reinstatement.
– We agree to support the campaign for reinstatement being waged by the workers themselves and call on the labour and trade union movement to show its solidarity.
– The NC agrees that the LRC will sponsor a public meeting in support of these UNITE cleaners