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24.06.2024 / News /

Challenging Inequality: UVW’s Historic Appeal to the Supreme Court

On the longest day of the year, 21 June, United Voices of the World union (UVW) lodged its appeal with the Supreme Court in our ongoing battle against outsourcing and for equality for all workers

We aim to prove that outsourcing Black, brown, and migrant workers at inferior wages compared to in-house workers who are mostly white constitutes institutional and unlawful race discrimination. We fight it in our workplaces, on the picket lines and through the courts.

UVW stands as the pioneering union to argue the case against discriminatory outsourcing case in court, marking our debut appearance at the Supreme Court. This landmark case represents one of the most pivotal labour and equality rights battles in a generation. Its success could deliver monumental benefits to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of often ‘invisible’ workers.

In November 2021, we had a major legal victory against the Royal Parks (RP) in the Employment Tribunal (ET). Our win established that the charity’s policy to consciously choose to NOT pay their outsourced mainly Black and brown cleaners & attendants the London Living Wage (LLW), while guaranteeing it to their mainly white in-house employees, amounted to indirect race discrimination. Other groups of UVW outsourced workers, in poorer pay and conditions than directly employed ones –  including a group claim by 80 formerly outsourced cleaners at Great Ormond Street Hospital – are currently arguing the same through the courts in various other claims.

Having been successful at ET level, we lost the Royal Park’s appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in May 2023, on a technical point, and a year later in the Court of Appeal. Now, we want a chance to defend our win and ideas in the Supreme Court.

The acceptance of our application to defend our case in the highest court in the land remains uncertain.

Whatever the outcome, all UVW members can take pride in our collective commitment to UVW’s growth, strength, and success, enabling us to pursue such challenges against all odds.


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Challenging Inequality: UVW’s Historic Appeal to the Supreme Court


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