mitie cleaners’ demo in city of london, friday 20th march

This Friday 20th March at 13.00 hours, Latino and African cleaners employed by Mitie at global insurance brokers the Willis Group will be demonstrating outside the Willis Building, 51 Lime Street EC3 (tube: Liverpool Street or Bank).

They were made redundant because they could not change their hours as the company had demanded. Their colleagues were forced to switch from a part-time evening to full-time nocturnal shift, or resigned. Cleaning companies have been trying to enforce this change in a number of key locations in London. Typically it seems to happen just as they win the Living Wage, and key activists seem to suffer.

In this case it is the shop steward Edwin Pazmiro and three colleagues. The company’s latest tactic was a legal scare letter demanding they stop the protests. It hasn’t worked. Please bring anything visible (banners etc) and anything noisy! Continue reading “mitie cleaners’ demo in city of london, friday 20th march”

30th march london forum: what unions do we have, and what do we need?

The next of The Commune’s ‘uncaptive minds‘ forums on “capitalism and the working class today” is on the subject of “what unions do we have, and what do we need?

The meeting, taking place at the Lucas Arms near London’s King’s Cross from 7pm on Monday 30th, will be looking at the decomposition of the official labour movement in recent decades; the signs of revival of class struggle and the new forms of activism taking place among the casual workforce;¬† and the dynamics of rank and file and bureaucracy, and how we can empower self-organisation.

The speakers leading off the discussion will be John Moloney, a PCS activist in the Department for Work and Pensions; Fabien Liberski, Convenor and Health & Safety Officer in Southwark Council, who was victimised by his employer with the collusion of UNISON bureaucrats; and Alberto Einstein Durango, a cleaner activist who played an important role in the victory of cleaners at Schroders in the City of London and is now helping with the Mitie/Willis campaign in the face of resistance by the Unite union.

All are welcome to come and take part in the debate. Email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com to register your interest or to find out more information. A map appears below.

demo for reinstatement of mitie cleaners

On Thursday 5th was the latest in a series of protests in support of cleaners unfairly dismissed by Mitie. The sackings came when the workers objected to being forced to work their full-time shifts at night.

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Despite management threats and the weak stance taken by the Unite union, the demo, outside the City of London offices of the insurance broker Willis, attracted over thirty people. This was an improvement on the previous actions on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the last couple of weeks. The noisy protest used chants such as “Mitie, shame on you!” and “The workers, united, will never be defeated” (in English and Spanish).

Some photos are posted below. For pictures, reports and a video of previous actions, see here.

Continue reading “demo for reinstatement of mitie cleaners”

video of mitie cleaners’ protest

On Thursday 26th was held the second of this week’s demonstrations in the City of London in support of the cleaners working for Willis victimised by Mitie, and twenty people – including cleaner activists and their supporters – turned out and mounted a strong display of solidarity in spite of the Unite union’s failure to do anything to help them. See here for reports on previous protests and posts outlining the dispute.

demo in the city against unfair dismissal of cleaners

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On Thursday 12th twenty people demonstrated outside the Willis insurance broker’s building in the City of London. Cleaners employed by Mitie, unfairly dismissed after protesting against being forced to work full time hours at night, were supported by cleaners from Schroders bank at the ‘unofficial’ demonstration.

Mitie cleaners, including Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Portuguese workers, were sacked from various workplaces when they objected to this change in their conditions, which happened with no consultation. At the protest a manager claimed that the cleaners “ought to have gone through the proper channels and spoken with human resources” – and yet one office worker, expressing his sympathy, told us that “Willis don’t allow us unions either”.

In a lively protest we chanted “Reinstate the cleaners” and “Queremos justicia ahora!”. Five City of London police briefly came to the protest, without incident. When they asked Roberto who was in charge of the demo, he replied “everyone!”. Unfortunately, “everyone” did not include the Unite union, who failed to organise the slightest support for their members in dispute.

The fight against victimisation continues – contact Edwin Pazmino on 07931464890, Juan Carlos Piedra on 07908099375, or williscleaners4justice@live.co.uk