Cleaners at the LSE have today voted to take further strike action following the LSE’s failure to concede their claim for parity of terms and conditions of employment with in-house staff, or make any offer of settlement.
The cleaners have voted to strike one day a week, every week, forever, until the LSE sees sense and concedes their demands. The first day of renewed strike action will be on 10th May 2017 and will continue one day a week, every week thereinafter.
The decision to strike again and indefinitely follows the cleaners’ incredibly successful first strike on 15th and 16th March which was the first strike of any cleaners or outsourced workers in the LSE’s history.
Since that strike the LSE has pleaded with UVW to hold off on any further strike action on the basis that the LSE would make an offer of settlement before the end of the Easter break which they strongly believed would be acceptable to the cleaners. With that the LSE appeared to be turning a corner and at least trying to live up to its - largely undeserved - reputation as an institution that is interested in combatting inequality, rather than perpetuating it.
Common decency would dictate that the cleaners’ demands are met, but it is also quite ludicrous that such a wealthy and prestigious institution should seek to resist implementing basic equality for the low paid workers upon whose labour it relies.
On the back of the LSE's professed interest in settling this dispute UVW agreed in good faith to put a temporary halt on campaign and strike action, pending a concrete offer for our member's consideration by 24th April. Unfortunately, LSE management has failed to come forward with any offer at all, demonstrating once again that they have little or no interest in the welfare and dignity of the cleaners or in affording them basic equality with other LSE employees.
Despite the LSE's lies, spin and disrespect the cleaners have remained more than patient and have repeatedly tried to amicably settle this dispute. However, they are clear that they will not be strung along with empty gestures from the LSE’s highly-paid managers and directors.
The LSE needs to bear in mind that UVW membership at the University has grown considerably since the first strike – which was itself voted for by 100% of members who took part in the ballot. The resolve and strength of feeling among our members at the LSE is also now greater than ever and our support among students has also grown massively. The next strike is going to be even bigger and even better-supported than the first and will bring even more attention to the LSE’s double standards and brazen hypocrisy.