Total Clean summarily sacked Gabriela, a cleaner and single mother from Peru, just before Christmas 2023, for eating a left-over tuna sandwich from a lawyers meeting at a top city law firm. Her bosses called it ‘theft”. UVW’s #tunagate solidarity protest at Devonshires Solicitors unleashed a media storm and caught the world's attention.

Gabriela took action and received overwhelming solidarity

I took action because I want justice. I want to stand up for myself, clear my reputation and encourage others who find themselves in similar situations to do the same, 

Gabriela Rodríguez, sacked cleaner and UVW member

Gabriela was fired on the same day she completed two years’ service with Total Clean and was also dismissed from her early morning job at a different client of Total Clean. UVW appealed the decision but Total Clean refused to reinstate her and said that Devonshires Solicitors, their client, had raised the complaint and they wanted to keep the client happy. UVW also appealed to Devonshires but they refused to intervene.

UVW believes Devonshires had the power to intervene on her behalf but chose not to and that they would have not reported an English-speaking lawyer or another worker in a suit and tie for taking one of their leftover tuna sandwiches. In our experience, outsourced migrant cleaners are rarely seen as ‘part of the team’ and afforded the same rights or leniency than other workers.

Gabriela is bringing legal proceedings for unfair dismissal but as going to court can take over a year she took action. On St Valentine’s day we marched to Devonshires to name and shame, and to demand a meeting with management. The #tunagate protest went viral and was published by national and international media.

Her story in her own words here >>


  • Compensation for unfair dismissal, race discrimination and whistleblowing detriment from Total Clean
  • Compensation for indirect race discrimination from Devonshires Solicitors
  • Her disciplinary record cleared


If you are a migrant worker with similar issues or want to make sure Gabriela gets justice, become a member here >>

You can also support the fight by becoming a solidarity member here >>

Or get in touch to join our action groups >>


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