Cleaners and concierge workers at West End Quays luxury apartments,in London, will be brought in-house following successful summer 2023 strikes, which won them a massive pay-rise and union recognition and now, an end to outsourcing.
This is the fourth time UVW members have forced an employer to ditch outsourcing, confirming UVW as the leading union in the fight against this discriminatory practice.
UVW members know that the practice of outsourcing is a cost-cutting move made at the expense of the workers’ material, physical and mental health and they have won several epic battles against it in our short 10-year history.
In 2017, London School of Economics (LSE) cleaners smashed outsourcing following a 10-month battle and successful strike, which ended up in the workers being brought in-house from the following year. It set a precedent to follow for other degraded outsourced workers across the country.
In 2019, UVW cleaner members forced NHS Imperial Trust to end outsourcing at St. Mary’s Hospital. The following year, hundreds of UVW member cleaners at Great Ormond Street Hospital won full NHS contracts from 1 April 2022, after threatening to go on strike.
We are proud of the work UVW members do to fight against this despicable practice, used by employers to shirk their responsibility towards the workers they indirectly employ, including our legal battles through the courts.
In November 2021, we won a seminal court case at the Employment Tribunal, which established that the Royal Parks was indeed responsible for the inferior pay of their outsourced park attendants and toilet cleaners, regardless of whether it employed them directly or not. This landmark victory is now under threat as it was overturned on first appeal and we are now fighting to have it reinstated at the Court of Appeal.
Our battles on the shop floor, the picket line and the courts continue. We will never give up.