progress for UCL cleaners campaign

Greg Brown reports on a recent success for the Living Wage campaign at University College London

Most cleaners are currently paid at or just above the National Minimum Wage. It is probably fair to say the average pay is just £6/hour. We are not aware that any cleaner receives sick pay, nor any kind of pension rights. Holiday leave is at the statutory minimum.

Some cleaners have reported that they have friends who have been intimidated in the workplace with their immigration status. I don’t want to go into any more detail given the sensitivity of the issue, but anyone who knows anything about the industry wouldn’t be surprised by the sort of things reported to us. It’s all disgusting but very textbook stuff.

UCL has now promised to pay staff the London Living Wage (LLW) as contracts “crystallise” – i.e. when they end and come up for renewal. Although we are told this is something that will be honoured irrespective of the forthcoming funding cuts, this is the most they have so far committed to. Continue reading “progress for UCL cleaners campaign”

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”

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!”

UCL: reinstate juan carlos, pay the living wage!

On Friday 26th March campus staff, students and activists demonstrated at University College London in solidarity with the cleaners there. The protest demanded a living wage (£7.60 an hour) for the cleaners, and the reinstatement of Juan Carlos Piedra, sacked by cowboy contractor Office and General on account of his trade union organising.

In a lively demonstration, after leafleting in the UCL Quad we made repeated – and ultimately successful – efforts to enter the building in spite of the security guards. We then chanted at delegates at an international academic conference on migration, demanding that the university support migrant workers’ rights rather than just pontificate about migration. Continue reading “UCL: reinstate juan carlos, pay the living wage!”