10.05.2023 / Press releases /

Condé Nast cleaners win 11% pay rise after strike threat

  • Latin American cleaners for Condé Nast’s offices in central London, who are members of United Voices of the World (UVW) union, have won an 11% pay rise after threatening to take strike action, backdated to 1 April 2023
  • The cleaners have also won a guarantee of an automatic yearly increase in line with the London Living Wage (LLW)   
  • The global media giant outsources the cleaning of its offices at the Adelphi Building to international facilities provider Samsic, employing the cleaners on poverty wages, despite both companies boasting healthy financial revenues of billions of pounds.

A group of UVW members from Latin America who clean the offices of global media company Condé Nast in the Adelphi Building in Covent Garden have won a swift pay rise of over 11% following threats of strike action, backdated to 1 April 2023.

The workers are part of a wider movement of simultaneous UVW-coordinated disputes involving cleaners, carers and concierge workers in nine workplaces in and around London. These include Amazon warehouses, Mercedes-Benz showrooms, the Department of Education and the London School of Economics, among others.

From now on, the cleaners will earn the London Living Wage (LLW) of £11.95, and the company has committed to automatically increasing this amount in line with the LLW every year.

The cleaners are outsourced to Samsic, a property facilities services company employed to serve global media giant Condé Nast offices at the iconic Adelphi Building, in Covent Garden, owned by Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega. 

Condé Nast, which is the publisher of popular magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, reportedly generated revenue of nearly £1.6 billion ($2 billion) in 2021. The global Samsic group boasts a revenue of at least £2.4 billion (€2.8 billion), with its UK division having a total revenue of £75 million. Ortega is the founder of international clothing brand Zara, third richest man in Europe and 18th richest in the world. 

Petros Elia, UVW general secretary said: ”While we are thrilled that the cleaners have won a historic, and retroactive pay rise, the fact that they had to threaten to go on strike is a indictment of the exploitative hypocrisy of big business – happy to make massive profits on the back of outsourced ancillary workers on poverty wages while trumpeting ethical values of equality of treatment and opportunity, fairness and diversity. Strike action – and the threat of it – proves yet again to be the only way to ensure decent pay and conditions for workers.”

For further information contact the UVW comms team.

Cristina: 07548 759340 

Isabel: 07706 987443

Jim: 07749 765264


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. 

[Photo by Steph Gray
Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0,
Desaturated from original]


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