22.05.2023 / News /
“We don’t have to tolerate or allow any kind of bullying, any kind of exploitation or any kind of ‘modern day slavery’.”José Francisco Mora Varón, UVW member and cleaner at an Amazon Warehouse
UVW members across the public and private sectors have had enough.
Cleaners, carers and concierge workers have returned a massive mandate to take simultaneous strike action for dignity, equality and respect. UVW members have joined forces across the following nine workplaces; an Amazon warehouse, a Mercedes-Benz showroom, the London School of Economics, Streatham and Clapham private school, La Retraite state school, Sage Nursing home, the Department for Education, luxury apartments West End Quays and media powerhouse Ogilvy at the Sea Containers’ building.
The low-paid, Black, brown and migrant workers are calling for a pay rise to cope with the increased cost of living. In some cases they are asking for a modest increase to the London Living Wage (LLW) of £11.95 per hour, such as at Amazon and Mercedes, which both behemoths have astonishingly refused, while some are demanding £13 and even £15 an hour. Others are asking for their lawful entitlement to annual leave pay and amended contracts which is being denied such as at the LSE; at Streatham and Clapham School the cleaners are calling for full sick pay and an end to outsourcing; and in the Department for Education the workers are demanding parity with civil service benefits while in other sites the workers are resisting detrimental changes to the timetable.
Cleaners work day in and day out early in the morning and through the night so that students, teachers, academics, sales people, office workers and civil servants can live, study and work in clean and safe space. “As a general rule the vast majority of cleaners get up between 4am and 5am. We have to work at least 10 hours a day to barely make ends and tend to work several jobs of 1-2 hours. The jobs are in different places which means we are on the streets for approximately 12 to 14 hours a day, eating many times in buses, far from our families and with hardly any rest. On many occasions our only contact with our children is during the week and over mobile phone.” said Magaly Quesada Herrera, a UVW member at La Retraite Roman Catholic School.
Our UVW members have had enough of being worked to the bone and treated like second class workers.“We are all frustrated and we are overworked, our demands are just and fair. They don’t talk to us right, they talk to us like children. We are parents, we have grandchildren, we have the right to be respected so we have come together as one. Just because I am a cleaner and they sit down in their offices it does not make them better than us or more important than us. When we strike they will know and see how important we are.” Kadijatu Jalloh, UVW member at the Department for Education.
As José Francisco, a cleaner at Amazon said “For those workers that are not yet union members; I recommend that you join the struggle. Do not allow fear to defeat you. Don’t keep quiet. This is the strategy that companies use to make us believe that they are in the right, so that we let ourselves be trampled on and so that we let ourselves be pressured.”
Striking is always a last resort and for low paid workers on the breadline it’s the difference between paying bills or eating a healthy meal! So we call on the movement to support these brave workers by
AND if you want to join together with your colleagues and fight for what you need and deserve contact us here:
16.01.2024 / HARRODS