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”

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cops back bosses bullying cleaners

Siobhan Breathnach reports on Guildhall cleaners standing up against management bullying

The Guildhall cleaners started organising in the summer against bad conditions and non-payment of wages. They have joined the cleaners’ branch of the Industrial Workers of the World and fought for the London Living Wage and against bullying and harassment. The company, Sodexo, have responded to this by trying to force the organised cleaners to leave. They have suspended a union rep, who is still waiting for the resolution of his case after months.

Recently, the employer’s tactics of intimidation have got worse and some cleaners held a sit-in to protest, which started on 22nd December. They had been subject to all kinds of abuse, including one woman being locked in an area for two hours, and another being taken into the basement and threatened. Some of us from The Commune and SolFed went down to support them just after Christmas. Continue reading “cops back bosses bullying cleaners”

cleaning up the industry

Siobhan Breathnach writes on a fresh turn in cleaners’ fight for a living wage

Cleaners in two workplaces in London have been striking for better pay and conditions. Both strikes, in the Guildhall in the City of London, and Senate House, University of London, started over unpaid wages.

In the Guildhall, cleaners walked out twice over unpaid wages. After they received what was owed to them, they started a series of demonstrations demanding the London Living Wage (LLW) and an end to abusive treatment. In the middle of the campaign, the cleaning contractor changed from Ocean to Sodexho, who started bullying the cleaners straight away. After two days they suspended the union rep, which the cleaners responded to with a noisy emergency protest.

Continue reading “cleaning up the industry”

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.
FOR A REAL LIVING WAGE!

cleaners’ strike in the city pays dividends

Cleaner activist Alberto Durango reports on a strike which shows that direct action works

According to the website of London’s Guildhall, it was designed to show the power of London’s ruling elite. This tradition is continued today by annual speeches by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of the Bank of England. The most recent event was a dinner in tribute to the new Ronald Reagan statue attended by the Foreign Secretary, Condoleezza Rice and other dignitaries.

London's Guildhall: a monument to the wealthy

Though regularly hosting wealthy patrons of this ancient and prestigious venue, they fail to pay the cleaners for the hours actually worked. Even when paid the cleaners get only £5.95 an hour, far short of the £8.30 ‘living wage’ calculated for one of the world’s most expensive cities. Continue reading “cleaners’ strike in the city pays dividends”

precarious work and solidarity

Tawanda Nyabango reports on discussions among cleaner solidarity activists

At this year’s Anarchist bookfair the Industrial Workers of the World organised a discussion around the issue of solidarity with cleaners. Speakers included a Cleaners Defence Committee regular, a leading organiser in the University College London Living Wage Campaign and a member of The Commune.

The meeting began with the speaker from the Cleaners Defence Committee giving a brief outline of the struggles and solidarity actions that took place earlier on this year. These included the Willis insurance and School of Oriental and African Studies cleaners’ disputes in 2009, and more recently the struggle UBS cleaners and the campaign to reinstate victimised shop steward Alberto Durango. The Cleaners Defence Committee has sought to assist and build links between these disputes. Continue reading “precarious work and solidarity”

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”