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27.01.2020 / News /

Solidarity letter: UVW striking security guards

On Friday, January 24th 2020, UVW asked union branches, CLPs and community organisations for group and individual signatories to a solidarity letter for striking security guards at St. George’s University of London (SGUL). The letter asks SGUL to meet the workers’ demands and condemns police action on the picket line.

Security guards are currently outsourced to a multinational corporation, Noonan Services. They are asking to be brought in-house and given equal pay, terms and conditions to the rest of SGUL staff. Two weeks ago, the security guards were met with unlawful strike breaking tactics on their first day of picketing. UVW’s Head of Legal Franck Magennis was unlawfully arrested and the police have continued to intimidate and threaten workers on subsequent strike days. This sort of anti-strike activity by the police must be challenged in the name of workers’ rights and citizens’ civil liberties across the entire UK.

If you would like to sign the letter – as a union branch, group or individual – please email

The solidarity letter and signatories can be found below.

UVW Solidarity Letter

We, the undersigned, wish to express our solidarity with the security guards of St. George’s, University of London (SGUL) who are taking ongoing strike action in their fight for dignity and equality and to be brought in-house at SGUL.

We also condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision of SGUL and St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“St George’s Trust”) to call the Metropolitan Police to the peaceful picket line of security guards on 13th and 14th January 2020. The police threatened all of the striking workers and supporters with mass arrest if they continued their lawful picket line outside their place of work.

On 13th January Mr. Franck Magennis, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers on secondment to UVW as head of their legal department, was unlawfully arrested and is currently suing the police. Franck’s arrest, and the threat to arrest the security guards on strike, is an affront to their human rights to which SGUL and St George’s Trust are complicit.

We do not accept that there is any excuse to continue to maintain a two tiered, racially segregated workforce at SGUL and call on Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of SGUL, to meet the security guard’s demand to bring them in-house as university employees.
We also call on Jacqueline Totterdell, Chief Executive of St George’s Trust, as well as Jenny Higham, to guarantee to desist from calling the police to break up peaceful and lawful picket lines at SGUL.


Current signatories: 90

Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)

Unite West York and Humber NE/403/15 branch

PCS London and South East region

The Network for Police Monitoring

RMT Bakerloo branch

NEU Wandsworth branch

UNISON Birkbeck branch

Free Our Unions

National Shop Stewards Network

PCS Tate United branch

BEIS PCS London and the South branch

United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD)

Unite NW389 Greater Manchester Social Action branch

Imperial College Left Forum

Imperial Labour Society

Southwark Momentum

London Renters Union

London Young Greens

Unite Community

The Counselling Space, East London

Islington Young Labour

New Syndicalist

Unidos por vencer

Labour Free Movement

Unite members at Unlock Democracy

Resist Surveillance

Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union

Grace Blakeley, *Author of Stolen: How to save the world from financialisation* and Staff Writer, Tribune

Cllr Maurice McLeod, (Lab) Wandsworth

Cllr Paula Walker, (Lab) Wandsworth

Cllr Jumbo Chan, (Lab) Brent

Cllr Sasha Das Gupta, (Lab) Forest Gate North Ward, Newham

Cllr Khaled Moyeed, (Lab) London Borough of Haringey

Cllr Santiago Bell-Bradford, (Lab) Mildmay Ward

Cllr Sarah James, (Lab) London Borough of Haringey

Cllr Dr. James Chiriyankandath, (Lab) London Borough of Haringey

Cllr Matt White, (Lab) London Borough of Haringey

Cllr Paul W. Flemming, (Lab) Faraday Ward, Southwark

Cllr James McAsh, (Lab) Southwark

James Farrar, Head of UPHD

Stan Herschel, Regional Organiser, RMT

Paul Kershaw, Chair, Unite Housing Workers Branch LE1111

Muhsin Manir, Shop Steward, Unite L/240 Branch

Sasha Simic, Shop Steward – USDAW C133 branch

William Jarrett, North East NSSN coordinator

Jack Shenker, Journalist and Author of Now We Have Your Attention

Josie Sparrow, New Socialist, IWW

Daniel Stone, Labour Councillor for Stroud Green, Haringey

Riccardo la Torre, Regional Secretary, Eastern FBU

Tom Harrington, Education Officer IWGB Couriers branch

Andy Stone, Secretary of Wandsworth NEU

John Burgess, Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON

Eddie Dempsey, RMT Organiser

Alison McGarry, Islington North CLP Chair

Steve O’Donnell, Unite Regional Officer

Anne O’Daly, LP branch secretary

Rob Williams, NSSN Chair

Pete Firmin, CWU

Paul Mackney, UCU Former General Secretary (Natfhe)

Duncan Morrison, Branch Secretary, Assistant District Secretary & Treasurer, Lewisham NEU

Hon. Prof. Michael Edwards, UCL and UCU-UCL member

Dr Katja Laug, Warwick Anti-Casualisation and UCU Warwick

Frank Wood, Kings College Hospital Unite

Nick Wheeler, former NHS Unite shop steward

Joshua Lovell, Cambridge UCU

Jennifer Blair, Barrister

Ewa Jasiewicz, NEU Organiser

Claudia Turbet-Delof, De Beauvoir Labour Ward Organiser

Mark Davis, Worcestershire Socialist Party branch organiser

Charlotte Bence, Industrial Organiser, Equity

Amy Dawson, Recruitment and Retention Organiser, Equity

Chris Spence, Branch Secretary, Keele, Knutton, Silverdeal and Town Branch Constituency Labour Party

David Postles, Unite Community

Patrick Murphy, Leeds NEU District Secretary and NEU National Executive member

Ed Maltby, South Yorkshire Couriers Network

Steve Chapman, Sheffield Heeley Labour Party, Unite the Union

Ian Townson, Secretary, Lambeth & Southwark Unite Community

Miriam Palacios-Callender, Labour Party, Member of BAME Forum Lewisham Deptford

Panna Vora, Receptionist, Equity

Jeremy Drinkall, Lambeth Unison Schools Convenor

Ben Towse, Camden Unison & Labour Campaign for Free Movement SC

Josh Lovell, Cambridge UCU

Josh Chown, USDAW Shop Steward, USDAW CO21 Branch Committee Member,
Hornchurch and Upminster CLP Member

Glenda Burgess, Organising Assistant, Recorded Media

Richard Bagnall-Oakeley, General Secretary, Psychotherapy and Counselling Union

Hilal Yazan, Hackney Labour member

Susan Parry, Hackney Labour member

Mary Shannon, Labour Party

Kate Parker, Hackney Labour member

Coral Jones, Hackney Labour member


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