The café workers at Greenwich University – outsourced to BaxterStorey – joined UVW and decided to take strike action for the London Living Wage (currently £10.55). When they announced the campaign BaxterStorey immediately gave them a 50p per hour pay rise which brought them up to £9.75. While the workers and UVW appreciate the increase it's still 80p short of the London Living Wage. So, it's still a poverty wage in London and therefore unacceptable!
We know that Greenwich University and BaxterStorey can afford to pay them what they're asking for and what they deserve.
Please support these workers in demanding an end to poverty wages, and to ensure they better treatment and dignity and respect. Some of the workers have worked in the café for over 20 years, none of them have been part of a union before but now they feel that they have no other choice than making their voices heard.
Support the cafe workers to take strike action by donating to their strike fund. This type of solidarity is much needed and appreciated. Thank you!
MEET OUR CAFÉ WORKERS
Our wages are too low! We live in London where living costs are expensive. In this city living costs rise faster than wages - that is why we all need the London Living Wage. I cannot afford to rent my own studio apartment. I already struggle with the rent for a single room in a flat share - over half of my salary I spend on rent. So, I work very hard to make ends meet. The other week I worked around 70 hours, there was almost no time to take a break. We had to work extra hard as there were summer schools in the university, we were promised support staff but were left alone to do the job. I felt so exhausted. I tell you this job breaks me! I want to live, not just survive that is why I decided to join the trade union. I believe we all deserve the London Living Wage.
We all really like our jobs and strive to bring the best service to this cafe, however our hard work is appreciated by paying us low wages. Are we considered to be inferior to the people who work for the university? Why? How much harder and longer do we have to work to get paid a decent wage? What are we doing wrong? Are we meant to struggle on low wages and work long hours to be able to afford surviving in this city? A wage we can live on is not much to ask, however, why do we need to fight for it?
I never thought I would join a trade union. But the work here is often so stressful and we are getting so little money for it. We are in London, we live in London, our wages are to low to live in this expensive city. I hope that Baxter Storey and the University of Greenwich will pay us the London Living Wage.
I have worked at the Greenwich Café for over 20 years. I like working here, but the work is very stressful and I don’t feel that I am treated with the respect I deserve. The wages are too low and we also deserve to be treated better. This is why I joined the union.
When the new company, BaxterStorey, came in things started to get downhill. They did not treat us well. I struggled with my mental health and also my asthma got worse. I now get the feeling that BaxterStorey is trying to get rid of me – I wonder if it might be because I started organising my workplace or if it is because of my mental health. I’ve worked here for 20 years. I like my job and I know I do it well but we are not treated well and are paid low wages. I think everyone, including us deserves at least the London Living Wage.
I usually work non-stop, I don’t take breaks as otherwise I cannot keep up with the work. Especially in summer with the events and summer schools it gets very busy. Last week I worked so hard without a proper break that I collapsed on the bus home and had to be hospitalised. I work hard as I have to support my family. I don’t get occupational sick pay so I cannot afford to be sick. Think about it – I am a chef who deals with food, but cannot afford to be sick! This puts not only mine but everyone’s health at risk!
I like my job but after finishing this work I have to go to my other job. The wage from my full-time job at the café at Greenwich University is not enough to make ends meet. I think BaxterStorey should pay us the London Living Wage. I also feel they are squeezing us, it is about their profits so they try to get as much as possible out of us. I often have to do jobs that are not part of my job description. This is why I joined the union. I don’t want to strike but if they continue to pay us poverty wages and treat us this way I feel I have no other chance.