30.05.2023 / Press releases /
Some 145 cleaners, carers and concierge workers, UVW members across the public and private sectors, will walk out of their jobs simultaneously to demand dignity, equality and respect on the 13, 15 and 20 June.
The low-paid, Black, brown and migrant workers are joining forces across the following workplaces; an Amazon warehouse in Dartford, the prestigious London School of Economics, the exclusive Streatham and Clapham private school, Sage Nursing home, the Department for Education, luxury apartments West End Quays and media powerhouse Ogilvy at the Sea Containers building.
Among the demands, the workers want 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, 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 High 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.
All of these strikes form part of 11 disputes, with nine workplaces balloted for strike action in May. Two of the 11 disputes were settled on the threat of the strike ballots alone with pay rises of 19.5% and 11% for cleaners at the Mercedes showroom in Dartford and at the Condé Nast offices in the Adelphi Building, respectively. Cleaners at a third workplace, the Mercedes showroom in Colindale, won a 25% pay increase after returning a strike mandate.
Talks are at an advanced stage at La Retraite Catholic school with a settlement avoiding redundancies looking likely before the scheduled strike dates. UVW has been invited to negotiations for the Amazon cleaners and the West End Quays cleaners and concierge workers, with talks at both workplaces scheduled for the week starting Monday 5 June.
In response to the strike ballot result, Streatham and Clapham High School made an initial offer on 26 May. The workers want to see this offer increased and the contractors and the school to recognise their union for the purposes of collective bargaining, if strike action is to be averted.
Petros Elia, general secretary for UVW, said:
“That these strikes have been called is simultaneously testament to both our member’s resilience and determination and the greed and callous disregard of their employers. All of our members’ demands across all sites are affordable and reasonable and we call upon this group of employers to do the right thing before the picket lines form outside their workplaces. Whether it be an inflation-matching pay rise, sick pay, parity and even an end to outsourcing these workers deserve it all and more. I invite the union movement to stand with these workers to help them fight and win.”
For further information, including photo and interview opportunities aboard the strike bus, please contact the UVW comms team.
Cristina: 07548 759340
Isabel: 07706 987443
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Notes for editors
United Voices of the World is an anti-racist, member-led, direct action, campaigning trade union and we exist to support and empower the most vulnerable groups of precarious, low-paid and predominantly BAME and migrant workers in the UK. We fight the bosses through direct action on the streets and through the courts and demand that all members receive at least the London Living Wage, full pay, sick pay, dignity, equality and respect.
UVW’s migrant, precarious and low-paid members keep both public and private sectors running. Hospitals, universities, restaurants, warehouses, nursing homes – to name just a few – would grind to a standstill without UVW members working hard to keep them clean, safe and operating round the clock. But despite making up 18 percent of the employed population and contributing to the economy, migrant workers are more likely to work shifts, particularly night shifts, split shifts and weekends, to be in non-permanent jobs and to be in jobs for which they are overqualified, while on minimum pay and dismal conditions.
22.11.2023 / Press releases