United Voices of the World

We are a grassroots trade union of low-paid, migrant & precarious workers and we fight the bosses for dignity and respect through direct action on the streets and through the courts!


United Voices of the World is a member-led, direct action, anti-racist, campaigning trade union and we exist to support and empower the most vulnerable groups of precarious, low-paid and predominantly BAME and migrant workers in the UK.

Join UVW today and become a member

The UVW family brings together workers across many sectors including cleaning, security, catering and portering from the typically outsourced facilities/services sector and also hospitality, retail, construction, health care workers and other professions including sex workers, artists, architects, childcare workers, social workers, charity sector workers and legal sector workers including paralegals, solicitors, and barristers.


We fight the bosses through direct action on the streets and through the courts and demand that all members receive at least the London Living Wage, full pay sick pay, dignity, equality and respect.

We will always challenge outsourcing, a practice that creates a two-tiered, racially segregated workforce, pits workers against each other, slashes wages, strips workers of their basic rights and breaks unions.

UVW is pioneering the fight against outsourcing in both the public and private sectors and is the first union in the UK to end this practice in both higher education (London School of Economics) and the NHS (Imperial Trust St Mary’s and Great Ormond Street Hospital).  

We have also taken on sub-contracting and its discriminatory impact to court in an unprecedented legal claim at  St George’s University, Royal Parks and the Ministry of Justice, which could change the world we live in for good.


United Voices of the Word (UVW) was founded in January 2014 by a group of cleaners from Latin America, working with a few volunteers from street corners and cafes for the first three years. Since then, we have welcomed over 10,000 workers into our union from over 100 countries. Through strikes, occupations, blockades and campaigns they have won tens of millions of pounds in improved pay and benefits for the UK’s invisible army of low-paid workers. Our members no longer feel invisible and those that have taken collective action now have some of the best terms and conditions in the country.

Some of our achievements over the last decade: 

London School of Economics – the first strike to end outsourcing in higher education and largest cleaners strike in history at the time.

Imperial Trust (St Mary’s) – the first strike to end outsourcing in the NHS and the first hospital occupation in the course of a strike.

Great Ormond Street Hospital – the second dispute to end outsourcing in the NHS

Royal Parks – UVW won first legal claim ever arguing that outsourcing is unlawful race discrimination (at appeal stages presently)


Our vision is that low paid, precarious and migrant workers in the UK have power at work, enjoy proper pay and conditions, and are treated with dignity, equality and respect.

Our mission is to achieve this by building power and solidarity in workplaces and communities through collective, legal and direct action.

Our core values are:

  1. Unity – we work together; our power lies in the collective strength of our community
  2. Courage – we are bold and fearless; we dare to do things differently
  3. Participation – we are an open member-led union; every member matters, every voice counts
  4. Diversity – we respect each other and value our differences
  5. Creativity – we are inventive and resourceful and adapt to change; our work is serious, and we have fun doing it!
  6. Solidarity – we stand together with other struggles that share our vision and values



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