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14.12.2023 / News /

A Xmas bonus: UVW cleaner members force exclusive Hurlingham Club to sack bullying manager and give them a pay rise!

 “We are very happy to have received a pay rise and our first Xmas bonus, as well as relieved for having got rid of a bullying and disrespectful manager.“

Akwasi, cleaner and UVW member

Christmas arrived early this year for the UVW cleaner members at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in London, when their bosses dismissed one of their managers for perceived bullying, intimidating behaviour and lack of respect and gave them a pay raise and a Xmas bonus!

The group of cleaners have secured at least a 7.6 percent pay rise, bringing all cleaners to the London Living Wage of £13.15 an hour as a minimum. They have also obtained their first Christmas bonus since they were brought in-house in 2022. The amounts vary depending on their length of service at the Club but in some cases they exceed £1,000. “We are very happy to have got this pay rise and Xmas bonus and to have taken this stance against what we thought was a bullying manager,” says Akwasi, one of the UVW cleaner members there. 

The workers also had reason to celebrate the dismissal of one of their managers, who they had accused of racism and bullying. The standoff began when the manager in question complained about one of the workers, Akwasi, for having peeled and eaten an orange in what she described as an aggressive and intimidatory manner while at the same time portraying the Black worker in infantilising terms, which, in the view of the workers and UVW, seemed to betray a conscious or unconscious racial prejudice. The accused cleaner and UVW member, who had a clean 20-year record at the Club – was suspended and issued a final warning letter.  Potential dismissal loomed large. 

This was the last straw for the Club’s cleaners, who, with the support of their union, launched a collective grievance against their manager with a long list of complaints for what they felt was abusive behaviour. In December, the Club decided to sack the manager and reinstate Akwasi. The workers then pressed on for better pay, and they also got that! 

Akwasi says they are relieved the Club did the right thing.”The union did a great job supporting our grievance against what we felt was a racist and bullying manager and our demand for a pay rise. We want to keep building our union and recruit more members because community is the best way to fight for your rights. I’d tell other workers, join a union and fight for better terms and conditions.”

If you want to fight like Akwasi and his co-workers, join us (here) and get in touch (here).

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