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The Barbican Centre

The City of London's artistic and cultural megaplex was mistreating its cleaners, but they fought back and the tables were swiftly turned.

THE DISPUTE

Barbican cleaners had reported regular managerial abuses, and an inexplicably long wait to be paid the London Living Wage — despite the CoL Corporation being a Living Wage employer. Technically, it was Mitie, the firm contracted to provide the cleaners, who refused to pay the LLW.

Furthermore, cleaners were only entitled to the minimum legal rate of Sick Pay, which amounts to precisely ZERO for the first 3 consecutive days that someone misses work, and only a pittance after that. Albeiro, who had no real choice but to come to work with a bad knee and a crutch, was even thrown out by police on the orders of management!

The bullies at Mitie, whose CEO received a 144% bonus on top of her £1m+ salary, illegally threatened all cleaners with sackings if they protested. But they turned out to be not-so-mighty. The Barbican is a superb place to protest, with many unstaffed entrances, daily shows, and grand internal spaces. And so, even after Servest had taken over the cleaning gig, UVW had to reignite the struggle yet again, this time for unjustified redundancies.

The dispute ended with the workers having won the London Living Wage for all facilities staff in the Corporation of London and the workers became some of the first workers in the country to demand and fight for full pay sick pay!

CAMPAIGN VIDEO

OUR WINS

London Living Wage

Despite the CoL Corporation being a Living Wage employer. Technically, it was Mitie, the firm contracted to provide and initially refused to pay the LLW.

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