19th March saw an international day of action against Swiss bank UBS, who via its contractor Lancaster has imposed an effective 10.75% pay cut on its cleaners in the City of London, while sacking shop steward Alberto Durango.
The protests were called in solidarity with the cleaners’ demands for stable working conditions, the sacking of the contractor and the reinstatement of Alberto Durango. Demos were held in London, Zurich, Edinburgh, Manchester, New York, Buenos Aires and Stockholm.
Around a hundred people turned out for an early evening protest at the UBS office at 100 Liverpool Street in the City of London. Speakers from migrant campaigns joined representatives of the RMT and the Unite construction branch, UCL cleaner activist Juan Carlos Piedra, as well as Unite general secretary candidate Jerry Hicks.
We surged forward against the doors of the bank as a protest letter was delivered, chanting ‘The workers, united, will never be defeated’ and ‘UBS, UBS, shame on you!’. There was a strong police presence to back up security guards who casually assaulted protesters.
The campaign is focussed on the bank since it is they who have employed the contractor to push down workers’ conditions – in revenge for a successful ‘Living Wage’ campaign two years ago. We wanted to show UBS that the struggle is not letting up. Join the campaign’s next London organising meeting at 7pm on Weds March 24th (email firstname.lastname@example.org for venue details).
Picket of a UBS office in New York
… as in Zurich on the bank’s home turf
Activists in Kyiv, Ukraine: ‘we clean while bankers shit’
Fifteen Scottish Socialist Party and IWW activists turned out in Edinburgh
More images and news to follow. See here for high-resolution photos of London protest.