Protest at LSE Summer School 2
Jul
10
12:00 am00:00
LSE

Protest at LSE Summer School 2

LSE Summer School attracts more international study abroad undergraduates than any other university summer school in the world. It is a huge cash-cow for the university and a key way to build its public image among students that might consider further study at LSE.

Let’s make sure students at the Summer School learn about the hypocrisy of the institution, which claims to be a global leader in research on inequality, welfare and poverty yet refuses equal treatment to its cleaners by failing to grant them equal terms and conditions.

Come and join us to make some noise and spread the message: LSE must stop its hypocrisy and meet the demands of the cleaners.

If you can, please bring pots, pans and whistles.

Protest at Summer School 3
Jul
31
12:00 pm12:00
LSE

Protest at Summer School 3

LSE Summer School attracts more international study abroad undergraduates than any other university summer school in the world. It is a huge cash-cow for the university and a key way to build its public image among students that might consider further study at LSE.

Let’s make sure students at the Summer School learn about the hypocrisy of the institution, which claims to be a global leader in research on inequality, welfare and poverty yet refuses equal treatment to its cleaners by failing to grant them equal terms and conditions.

Come and join us to make some noise and spread the message: LSE must stop its hypocrisy and meet the demands of the cleaners.

If you can, please bring pots, pans and whistles.


Protest at LSE Summer School 1
Jun
19
12:00 pm12:00
LSE

Protest at LSE Summer School 1

LSE Summer School attracts more international study abroad undergraduates than any other university summer school in the world. It is a huge cash-cow for the university and a key way to build its public image among students that might consider further study at LSE.

Let’s make sure students at the Summer School learn about the hypocrisy of the institution, which claims to be a global leader in research on inequality, welfare and poverty yet refuses equal treatment to its cleaners by failing to grant them equal terms and conditions.

Come and join us to make some noise and spread the message: LSE must stop its hypocrisy and meet the demands of the cleaners.

If you can, please bring pots, pans and whistles.

Strike at the LSE
Jun
2
5:30 am05:30

Strike at the LSE

Cleaners at the LSE have 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 first day of renewed strike action was on the 11th 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.

 

6th Day of LSE Strike
Jun
1
5:45 am05:45

6th Day of LSE Strike

Cleaners at the LSE have voted to strike every single week indefinitely until victory, starting on 11th May.

Cleaners at the LSE have 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 first day of renewed strike action will be on 11th 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.

 

UVW & IWGB summer fiesta
May
27
May 28

UVW & IWGB summer fiesta

  • TBC

UVW & IWGB unions are holding a joint  summer fiesta. For members and supporters of both unions.

5th Day of Strike Action at the LSE
May
24
5:45 am05:45

5th Day of Strike Action at the LSE

he cleaners at the LSE, all of whom are migrants and BAME workers, will be back out on strike on 24th May for what will be the 5th day of a weekly indefinte strike.

All they are asking for is dignity and equality and despite waiting 8 months the LSE has still refused to concede either and has instead tried to undermine and smear the cleaners campaign in ways that would make the Daily Mail shudder.

The LSE has failed to offer and settlemt to this dispute, and is instead determined to perpetuate inequality and maintain a two tier wokrkforce where cleaners are excluded from the LSE community, forced to get by on signifiacntly inferior T&Cs (annual leave, sick pay, and maternity/paternity/adoption leave pay) and generally treated second class.

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. Therefore these stirkes will contiue until victory.

LSE strike
May
17
5:30 am05:30

LSE strike

  • LSE

Cleaners at the LSE have voted to strike every single week indefinitely until victory, starting on 11th May.

Cleaners at the LSE have 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 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.

UVW General Meeting
Mar
4
4:00 pm16:00

UVW General Meeting

  • UVW offices

A general meeting for the broad membership base of UVW in which volunteers report back, we make decisions and discuss strategies for the way ahead.

The meetings take place in our offices on the 8th floor of Hannibal House, which is accessible  from inside the Elephant and Castle shopping centre.

Protest against homophobic hate crime at the LSE
Feb
24
12:30 pm12:30

Protest against homophobic hate crime at the LSE

This protest is being called to hold the LSE to account for its inaction in the face of homophobic hate crimes on campus.

Over two months ago Sam (a pseudonym), a cleaner at the LSE who is outsrouced to Noonan, submitted a formal grievance stating that he had been the victim of homophobic bullying and which was so serious that it probably amounted to a hate crime. More specifically he was called “faggot”, told that he should sleep with a woman “to cure the problem”; that “gay people are not human”; and that “all gay people should be murdered, burnt alive and hanged”.

That last statement was responded to by the other people present by “jumping up and down in jubilation”.

He asked Richard Seddon, the account director at Noonan on the LSE's cleaning contract to “seriously investigate the situation before it gets completely out of control”, adding that he “feared for his safety.”

In light of Noonan's track record of implemetning extremely harsh disciplinary proceedings against cleaners, sometimes for the most trivial of things - such as 3 cleaners who were summarily suspended and eventually sacked by Noonan at the LSE last year for finishing their shift a little early - you would be forgiven for thinking that Richard would have immediately suspended the perpetrators of the reported homophobic bullying whilst he went on to investigate matters.

In actual fact, Richard took no action whatsoever against the perpetrators of the homophobic bullying and even responded dismissively by claiming that “it's in their culture.”

Sam became desperate in the face of Noonan's inaction and, ever fearful for his safety, asked the LSE cleaners union UVW to intervene.

UVW immediately wrote to Julia Black, and the directors of LSE facilities department. They refused to take any action either. In fact, all that happened was that nearly 2 weeks later (and 2 months since first reporting the homophobic bullying) Sam was invited to a grievance hearing. Still no action was taken.

Julia Black could have immediately requested Richard Seddon's removal from campus for not only expressing racist views, but also clearly discriminating against Sam because of his sexual orientation and potentially putting other cleaners, students and staff at risk of further homophobic bullying. Richard Seddon remains in his post in charge of all the cleaners at the LSE.

Noonan have accepted that they have done wrong and "let things slip", and yet neither Noonan nor Julia Black have taken any serious action. In fact, in a recent open student forum Julia Black was asked about this matter and refused to even pay lip service condemning homophobia at the LSE.

Sam is taking Noonan and the LSE to an employment tribunal on grounds of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

In the meantime, we demand justice, responsibility and accountability.


NB

The Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”) have agreed a common definition of hate crime: "Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender."”

The CPS' Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime, which states that:
“We regard homophobic and transphobic crimes as particularly serious because they undermine people’s right to feel safe about and be safe in their sexual orientation, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual, and in their gender identity, whether they are women or men and including trans men and women. Such crimes are based on prejudice, discrimination and hate and they do not have any place in an open and democratic society.”

Feb
4
4:00 pm16:00

UVW General Meeting

  • UVW offices

A general meeting for the broad membership base of UVW in which volunteers report back, we make decisions and discuss strategies for the way ahead.

The meetings take place in our offices on the 8th floor of Hannibal House, which is accessible  from inside the Elephant and Castle shopping centre.

Protest at John Lewis: bring cleaners into the partnership!
Nov
5
4:00 pm16:00

Protest at John Lewis: bring cleaners into the partnership!

John Lewis makes well over £100 million in profit a year despite a recent slump, and pays its Chariman over 70 times what the cleaners, who are memebrs of UVW, earn. 

Nonetheless, John Lewis insists on denigrating and treating their cleaners like second class citizens, who they despicably outsource for no other reason than to deprive them of the same benfits that in-house staff receive. 

Not only are the cleaners paid poverty wages of £7.29 per hour - which will be insultingly increased by only 6p an hour to £7.35 an hour on 18th October - but they are excluded from the famous partnership model lauded by all. 

Consequently the cleaners do not benefit from the store discount, the annual bonus, even if it has fallen from 17% to 11% in recent years, or even the minimim wage of £8.20 per hour which comparable in-store workers (aka “partners”) receive before the bonus.  

Worse still is that the annual bonus is publicly announced every year in store. This means the cleaners are forced to watch everyone celebrate and then sweep up the confetti and mop up the spilt champagne as a cruel reminder of their second class status within John Lewis. 

We have received guarantees by John Lewis' contractor that by 1st November 2016 we will receive a response to our very simple and fair demands for the cleaners to receive parity of pay and terms and conditions of employment with in-house staff. After all, outosourcing does not and cannot justify a two tier workforce, especially within a "partnership".

However, if John Lewis refuses to engage in meaningful negotiations, or continues to falsely deflect responsibility to their contractor, and continues to treat and pay the cleaners so contemptuously, then this protest will proceed and will mark the start of a what could become a protracted industrial dispute which will be relentlessly fought until justice is served.

UVW general meting
Nov
5
1:00 pm13:00

UVW general meting

A general meeting for the broad membership base of UVW in which volunteers report back, we make decisions and discuss strategies for the way ahead. 

Please note that our meeting location changed: We are now meeting at the 8th floor of Hanibal House in Elephant and Castle.

After the meeting we will go together to the John Lewis protest starting 4pm at Oxford Street.

REINSTATE ALBA: JUSTICE FOR THE LSE CLEANERS!
Oct
14
1:00 pm13:00
LSE

REINSTATE ALBA: JUSTICE FOR THE LSE CLEANERS!

Alba is one of the longest serving members of the cleaning team at the LSE who has just been unnecssarily, unfairly and unalwfully sacked, without notice, by the LSE's new cut-throat contractor Noonan. 

Alba started as a cleaner back in 2004, and was later promoted to the position of a supervisor, and then again promoted to the position of office administrator. However, due to what she describes as discrimination on the part of management who didn't want her as Latin American woman in the office, she was demoted to the position of supervisor, the position from which she has just been sacked. 

She has been told she can work as cleaner if she wishes but she can't because she lost the skin on her hands through years of exposure to dangerous chemicals at the LSE. 

Why was she officially sacked?

The official reason given for sacking Alba was that “following a review of the Supervisor structure at the LSE, the nature of the contract, and taking into account how we can best deliver an efficient service to our client and the public...the propose the loss of 5 current supervisor roles at the LSE”

As you will note the words used to justify her sacking are typically vague and vacuous. 

In reality, of course, the only reason for sacking Alba is to try and save a bit of money off the backs of the lowest paid workers at the LSE in the belief that no-one would notice, care or do anything about it. 

In fact, Noonan was awarded the contract because they offered the LSE a discount price and the LSE didn't question, or rather didn't care, how they would make those savings which, of course, can only be made by getting fewer people to do more work leading to greater degrees of already dangerously high levels of physical and psychological stress. 

Alba's sacking is also unlawful in that there is no question that it is in breach of TUPE regulations, which Noonan have admitted that they tried to cynically evade by waiting 6 months before they went ahead with the sackings which they had been planning since even before the transfer.  

Alba's dismissal represents the inevitable consequence of the fiercely competitive, notoriously unethical and downright exploitative employment practices which have come to define the cleaning sector dominated by so-called “strategic outsourcing specialists” which the LSE chooses to hire rather than providing an in-hosue service. 

The only way to stop this attack on the cleaners is for the cleaners themselves to get organised, get unionised, get supported by staff and students and fight back. 

The good news is, that's exactly what we're doing! 

Join us for this protest which will mark not only the start of a long series of protests demanding Alba's reinstatement, but also to demand that the cleaners are treated with dignity, respect and given the same terms and conditions of employment as in-house staff.

Stand up to Racism Conference
Oct
8
10:30 am10:30

Stand up to Racism Conference

UVW will be speaking at the Stand up to Racism Conference.

For more information see: http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/2016/10/confronting-rise-racism-national-conference-saturday/

UVW Meeting
Oct
1
4:00 pm16:00

UVW Meeting

UVW is always meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the months in the Common House in Bethnal Green. 

This is the space were we plan our campaigns, discuss important issues and vote on decisions. 

Everybody is welcome!

 

UVW BBQ
Sep
3
3:00 pm15:00

UVW BBQ

Come and join us for our end of summer BBQ.

With summer coming to an end UVW has decided to have a BBQ instead of our normal fortnightly meeting so come and join us! 

This is open to members and non members. 

We will provide the food and sell massive plates of it for £6 but please bring drinks! 

We are still deciding on which park to go to.

UVW Meeting
Jul
16
4:30 pm16:30

UVW Meeting

  • Common House

UVW always meets at the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every months in the Common House near Bethnal Green Station.

UVW meeting
Jul
2
4:30 pm16:30

UVW meeting

  • Common House

UVW always meets at the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every months in the Common House near Bethnal Green Station.

Protest to Reinstate the 'Wood Street 4' & pay the living wage!
Jun
29
5:00 pm17:00

Protest to Reinstate the 'Wood Street 4' & pay the living wage!

  • 100 Wood Street London, EC2V 7AN United Kingdom

Please come and support our protest at 5.00pm on Wednesday, 29th June, in support of the cleaners at 100 Wood Street who are paid poverty wages and have been unlawfully dismissed by the anti-union, anti-living wage cleaning contractor Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited ("Thames"). 

UVW monthly meeting
Jun
18
4:00 am04:00

UVW monthly meeting

UVW always meets at the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every months in the Common House near Bethnal Green Station.

Protest at Topshop: Reinstate the 'Topshop 2' & demand a living wage
Apr
16
9:30 pm21:30

Protest at Topshop: Reinstate the 'Topshop 2' & demand a living wage

  • Topshop

Following the launch of our living wage campaign at Topshop in February 2016, the cleaners have been systematically victimised, bullied and threatened by the cleaning company Britannia. Topshop have been fully informed but they are refusing to intervene thus allowing their contractor to unlawfully victimise the cleaners.

We wil be returning to Topshop for the second time in a month to demand a real lving wage of £9.40, and not the government's fake living wage of £7.20, and to demand the reinstatement of the Topshop 2.

https://www.facebook.com/events/217272261973878/

Protest at Topshop: Living Wage now!
Mar
12
3:00 pm15:00

Protest at Topshop: Living Wage now!

Come and join UVW for a mass protest at Topshop's flagship store in Oxford Street demanding a Living Wage for all workers, both the outsourced cleaners and the in-house sales assistants.

Toshop is the flagship brand of the Arcadia Group which is owned by Philip Green, a notorious tax avoider and all round exploiter. 

The Arcadia Group recently reported an annual turnover of over £2 billion and a rise in annual profits to over £250 million which Philip Green called “a robust performance in challenging times.” 

Despite huge profits workers on the shop floor are paid poverty wages which stand some 30% below what is accepted to be the current London Living Wage of £9.40 per hour. 


In Topshop's Code of Conduct it claims to “fully subscribe to the concept of the “living wage”” This is a bizarre statement to make because they have always been a poverty wage employer and have never taken any steps to increase their workers wages anywhere near the level of a Living Wage. 

One cleaner named Susana says: “Our work is not valued at Topshop. Often our contracts do not reflect the actual hours we work. We also often feel discriminated against and there is a lot of favouritism towards friends or family of the managers. If we complain we are punished by, for example, having our hours cut. Furthermore, we are made to do the job of our colleagues if they miss work due to illness or annual leave without any extra time or money which means we are made to work more for less. I think we should be valued and recognised for the work we do because it is a tough job. We cannot get by with our poverty wages. The minimum they could recognise and value us is to pay us a Living Wage.”

Enough is enough. Topshop workers demand a Living Wage NOW!

UVW Social
Dec
12
6:30 pm18:30

UVW Social

  • Common House

Join us for our  monthly social for us to get to know each other better. This event is for members and anyone who wants to learn more about UVW's work in an informal way.

Bring some food and drinks, there will be music.

.

UVW Workshop
Dec
12
4:00 pm16:00

UVW Workshop

We believe in skill sharing and therefore provide one free workshop a months for our members

Watch this space to see the topic for this workshop.

If you have skills to share please contact: vera@uvwunion.org.uk

UVW Meeting
Nov
28
4:00 pm16:00

UVW Meeting

  • Common HOuse

This is our monthly members meeting, where we update each other, plan future campaigns and events, make financial decisions.

UVW Social
Nov
14
6:30 pm18:30

UVW Social

  • Common House

Join us for our  monthly social for us to get to know each other better. This event is for members and anyone who wants to learn more about UVW's work in an informal way.

Bring some food and drinks, there will be music.

Service Sector Solidarity Social
Nov
14
6:00 pm18:00

Service Sector Solidarity Social

United Voices of the World and Unite Hotel Workers Branch are coming together for a fundraiser!

We’re organising in difficult terrain. The Service Sector – primarily contract cleaning and hospitality – has historically been neglected and un-unionised and characterised by low pay, long hours and the exploitation of migrant workers. We’re dealing with Zero Hours contracts, hostile employers and appalling conditions for mostly minimum wage workers with ever decreasing employment rights and access to justice.

But we’re changing this. We are working with many migrant workers speaking a diverse number of languages who are coming together to fight for their interests. 

We are fighting back and we need fighting funds to help us do it!

Join us for delicious dishes and drinks from all over the world, live music, DJs, dancing, salsa, hip-hop, a raffle and plenty of space for talking, laughing and just relaxing.

Suggested £3 entry or donation
 

UVW Workshop
Nov
14
4:00 pm16:00

UVW Workshop

 

We believe in skill sharing and therefore provide one free workshop a months for our members

Watch this space to see the topic for this workshop.

If you have skills to share please contact: vera@uvwunion.org.uk