“Making ends meet is very hard, sometimes impossible, which means I end up having to borrow money. I have worked at LSE for 11 years and I enjoy my work but I’m unhappy about what in my opinion seems like an abuse of authority and how some bosses treat us.”
Vilma Villamoros, cleaner and UVW member
The cleaners that keep the London School of Economics (LSE) halls of residence clean say “We are not the dirt we clean!”
The mainly Latin American migrant workers and UVW members, some of whom have worked at the university for many years, are being denied holiday pay that mirrors their normal salary.
LSE has been only paying holiday pay based on their contractual hours and not the complete hours the cleaners work, including voluntary overtime.
The cleaners want LSE to pay them the years of holiday pay owed to them and are preparing to take strike action to demand their full lawful entitlement to annual leave pay.
For many of the cleaners, the lion’s share of their hours and income is not guaranteed or considered by LSE as a contractual right. This means that they live in a state of financial precarity.
Instead of regularising their extra hours, LSE has advertised new jobs for cleaners without consulting UVW members on the best way forward. Without these extra hours, the cleaners can’t make ends meet.
LSE says it promotes ‘equitable treatment, championing diversity and developing an inclusive LSE”, and that it stands ‘for the betterment of society’. We think LSE should stay true to its values and do the right thing by ALL its employees, not just the academic or administrative staff but by those who work in the background to ensure students can learn and teachers can teach.
THE WORKERS DEMAND:
Lawful entitlement to annual leave
Support UVW to build power and solidarity in workplaces and communities to win dignity, equality and respect.