protest: justice for cleaners at john lewis

Come to a lively protest to stand in solidarity with the cleaners at John Lewis
This Saturday, 3pm
John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX

The cleaners are demonstrating because they are….

1) All on the minimum poverty wage of £6.08 p/hour and are demanding the London Living Wage of £8.30 p/hour.
2) Often not paid for the hours they work.
3) Not provided appropriate equipment or protection.
4) Discriminated against by their managers. For example, some Hindu cleaners are called ‘bloody Indians’, whilst some larger employees are called ‘pig heads’
5) At threat of seeing 50% redundancies. The remaining 50% of the cleaners would be expected to cover the work of those made redundant with the same hours and with no extra pay!
6) Prejudicially excluded from the so-called John Lewis partnership. Continue reading “protest: justice for cleaners at john lewis”

urgent protest: justice for cleaners at the lse

From IWW Cleaners Branch
Come and stand in solidarity with the cleaners at the London School of Economics on Wednesday 13 June 2012, from 1PM – 2:30PM
LSE, Houghton Street, City of Westminster, WC2A 2AE – Just by Natwest bank

The IWW Cleaners at London School of Economics will be staging a lively protest to…

1) Stop the LSE from reducing the cleaner’s working hours
2) Stop the LSE from intensifying the cleaner’s working day
3) Stop the LSE from giving with one hand and taking with the other
4) Stop the LSE from treating the cleaners like second-class employees
5) Publicly expose Resource’s management’s inveterate practice of racist bullying Continue reading “urgent protest: justice for cleaners at the lse”

bishops, tents and the city

Sharon Borthwick visited the occupations at London’s St Paul’s and Finsbury Square

Outside St Paul’s the Royal British Legion had set up a poppy selling stall, “Shoulder to shoulder with all who Serve”. From this side of the cathedral one couldn’t yet see the occupation site, and the reminder that ex-servicemen are obviously not given decent enough pensions to live by seemed especially pertinent, in a time when concessions made to the working class in the aftermath of World War II are all under attack.

The ruling class were wise then to introduce the welfare state, they knew that social unrest was brewing. The years prior to the war too were full of suffering; it truly was a Great Depression.  During the Blitz public space also came to the forefront. It took an organised committee of citizens to eventually gain permission to access the London Underground stations for protection. With 40% of Britain’s housing stock flattened, the authorities eventually had to overlook squatting. Paternoster Square was the intended site of this occupation: formerly a public square it is now owned by the Subishi Estate Company which prior to the protest, oh so gracefully permitted 24 hour access. It is fine to come to London to work and shop. The profiteers are at least spooked, The Canary Wharf Group plc has just obtained a high court injunction preventing “any persons unknown remaining on the Canary Wharf estate in connection to protest action.” Continue reading “bishops, tents and the city”

heron tower cleaners’ protest

Today’s demonstration cancelled… due to total victory. See first comment below. 

The IWW IU 640 Cleaners Branch Is fighting to get the living wage at Heron Tower. The cleaning company LCC accepted they would pay it, but now are bullying our members, reducing the working hours and increasing the work load

Our position is clear: any increase in salaries must be real and not be offset by any reduction of working hours or increased work load.

berns salonger demo 22nd october; cleaners’ defence committee meetings

Call-out from the Cleaners’ Defence Committee

On Thursday 21st October the Cleaners Defence Committee will hold a mass meeting covering cleaners struggles in UK and Berns, at UCL. After the demonstration on Friday 22nd October there will be a social in aid of the Berns workers at LARC, and there will be 3 meetings that will include coverage of these struggles at the Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 23rd October. Continue reading “berns salonger demo 22nd october; cleaners’ defence committee meetings”

demo in solidarity with UCL cleaners, 28th september

A call-out from activists at University College London. See here for an Evening Standard report on the cleaners.

At UCL most cleaning services and all catering services are outsourced. A number of different contracts currently exist, with varying employment terms for cleaners specifically.

All outsourced cleaning staff, of which we estimate there to be around 180, receive well below the London Living Wage – many are on £6/hour, while others are on the National Minimum Wage of £5.80. Continue reading “demo in solidarity with UCL cleaners, 28th september”

friday 17th: demo in solidarity with berns cleaners

There will be a mass demonstration outside the offices of London & Regional, 55 Baker Street, London W1U 8EW on  Friday 17th September 2010 from 4-6pm.

This follows a very successful mass demonstration on Friday 13th August. Since our action demonstrations in Sweden have gone up to 4 times a week. We want Berns Salonger and their parent company London Regional to know we too are not going away. Please speak to your comrades, colleagues, fellow workers and friends and mark the date in your diary. Let’s all set aside the time to make this an even bigger and more successful demonstration. Continue reading “friday 17th: demo in solidarity with berns cleaners”

demo to support berns salonger cleaners

An IWW member reports on a recent demo in London in solidarity with migrant cleaners at Berns Salonger, a Swedish night club which has seen a long-running dispute over victimisations, low wages and 22-hour shifts.

On 13th August 2010 the Cleaners Defence Committee, London IWW Branch, and other supporters demonstrated outside the offices of London Regional [the club’s owner] in solidarity with the SAC [the workers’ union] for two hours, handing out information to the staff and passers-by.

The turnout was good and was supported by other groups including branches of The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT) Solidarity Federation, Feminist Fightback, Latin American Workers Association, London Coalition Against Poverty amongst others. Continue reading “demo to support berns salonger cleaners”

demonstration this friday in solidarity with ukrainian miners

Demonstrate outside Ferrexpo’s office in London on Friday 3rd September from 4:30pm at 2-4 King Street, SW1. Click here for flyer.

A major dispute is underway between mineworkers in Poltava in central Ukraine and Ferrexpo Plc, a major player on the global market mainly engaged in mining of iron ore. All three shifts in the open cast in the town of Komsomolsk, of more than 300 workers each are now involved in industrial action. Some railway locomotive drivers and workers on the iron ore concentrating factory have joined in solidarity.

The action started on 1st August at 10am when the workers at the ore-dressing open cast pit started at first with a go-slow and work-to-rule. The action began when haul trucks drivers on their way down to the 305 meter deep quarry reduce speed of the vehicles from normal 40-45 km/h to the more safe 10-15 km/h. Excavator and bulldozer operators, as well as drilling technicians then joined the action in solidarity. Within 24 hours of the workers’ action total rock production had fallen by less than 60% of normal volume. This impact of the workers resistance is continuing. Continue reading “demonstration this friday in solidarity with ukrainian miners”

protest against marks and spencer over indian sweatshop

Join a solidarity protest in front of the Marks and Spencer store, 173 Oxford Street, London – 11 am, Saturday 4th September 2010

From a press release of Mazdoor Ekta Manch, a union based in Gurgaon:

Workers of the Viva Global Factory, including women were brutally beaten up with hockey sticks and lathis [canes] by goons called in by the Management of Viva Global, the Gurgaon based sweatshop apparel house. The incident happened on 23rd of August 2010 between 9:30 and 10:00 AM when workers were to enter the premises of the Factory, as part of a tripartite agreement between the Management of Viva Global, the Labour Department and the Garment and Allied Workers Union (GAWU).

Viva Global is a major supplier of apparel to ‘reputed’ multinational superbrands such as Marks and Spencer. There have been serious violations of labour laws and human rights at the Viva Global Factory. The Management has been using strong arm tactics against union leaders, representatives of workers etc., each time that the workers have demanded that basic amenities and legal wages be given to them. On the 21st of Aug 2010, at 6.00 PM, contract workers were locked out of the Factory in an attempt to illegally terminate them.

Our demands are: All workers be reinstated and the management of the Viva Global apologise to the workers.

demo this friday in solidarity with berns salonger cleaners

A protest in solidarity with cleaners in Stockholm forced to work 22-hour shifts and receive illegally low wages by a subsidiary of British firm London & Regional. From 4pm this Friday 13th August from 4pm at L&R’s 55 Baker Street, London offices.

This demo was called by Cleaners’ Defence Committee, established earlier this year to organise solidarity with migrant cleaners at UBS bank in the City of London. For more details, email

The protest is also supported by the Latin American Workers’ Association; Colombia Solidarity Campaign; Hands Off My Workmate; Industrial Workers of the World; Solidarity Federation; The Commune, National Shop Stewards Network and 0543 RMT Finsbury Park Branch. Continue reading “demo this friday in solidarity with berns salonger cleaners”

solidarity with migrant cleaners in stockholm: actions 2nd and 13th august

The Cleaners’ Defence Committee, established earlier this year to organise solidarity with migrant workers in the City of London, has called two actions in solidarity with low-paid cleaners at the plush Berns Salonger nightclub in Stockholm.

the swanky Berns Salonger hotel

These workers have been in dispute for 21 weeks, with a series of mass pickets in protest at illegally low wages, victimisation and shifts as long as 22 hours. Our protest is against the British concern London & Regional Properties, which owns the nightclub. Continue reading “solidarity with migrant cleaners in stockholm: actions 2nd and 13th august”

solidarity with juan carlos piedra!

People who support migrant cleaners’ struggles in London may well know of Juan Carlos Piedra, an Ecuadorian worker victimised at University College London because of his trade union activism. He has also been active in the solidarity efforts behind UBS bank cleaners in the City of London.

Juan Carlos has been called to an interim hearing for his Employment Tribunal with LCC Services on Tuesday 25th May from 10 am. It is to be held in East London Tribunal Service, 2nd Floor Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent, East India Dock, London, E14 2BE. Nearest station is East India Quay DLR. He  is asking as many people as can come to be there from 9.30 in a show of support and solidarity. A strong presence can help sway the decision made. Continue reading “solidarity with juan carlos piedra!”

putting the bank managers on the back foot

by Jack Staunton

On Friday 23rd April the traditional St. George’s Day celebrations returned to the City of London after a 425-year gap: but the streets of this capital of capital also witnessed events more internationalist in character.

As many as 100 people turned out for the latest in a series of demonstrations in solidarity with the migrant cleaners at Swiss bank UBS. The widely-supported campaign against an effective 11% pay cut and the victimisation of shop steward Alberto Durango has put management on the back foot (more details soon) and also served as a rallying point for a number of inter-related struggles. Continue reading “putting the bank managers on the back foot”