BREAKING: Cleaners at the LSE vote to strike every single week indefinitely until victory!

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.

UVW secures the removal of Noonan's cleaner account director at the LSE University following his inaction in the face of homophobic harassment!

You may remember the case of a member of UVW, Sam (pseudonym), who works as a cleaner at the LSE University. He was subjected to hideous homophobic hate crimes by several people over many months. He reported the abuse he was suffering to the cleaning company Noonan's account director, Ricahrd Seddon, who chose not to suspend the accused whilst an investigation took place or even investigate the matter at all.

Instead he responded dismissively saying, in reference to the country of origin of the accused that, "it's in their culture."

UVW takes a zero tolerance policy towards homophobia or any form of discrimination and we demanded justice and accountability with the support of the Justice for LSE Cleaners campaign through petitions, pickets and protests. Here's a video of one of those actions -

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1312818212119748/.

It has now come to our attention that our efforts have paid off and Richard Seddon has finally been removed from the LSE contract.

In the meantime we are taking Noonan to an Employment Tribunal in which we expect a declaration to be made that Noonan have victimised, harassed and discriminated against Sam for being gay.

In light of this case and other matters the LSE should seriously consider its relationship with Noonan.

UVW goes to employment tribunal to defend the Topshop Two

Remember the Topshop Two? They are Susana and Carolina - single mums from Ecuador - who used to clean tax dodging, poverty wage paying, pension pinching Philip Green's flagship Topshop store in Oxford Street.

Last year they were cruelly sacked by the cleaning contractor Britannia Services Group with Topshop's consent or even at Topshop's behest, for having boldly organised themselves and their colleagues into our union United Voices of the World and campaigned for a living wage.

One of the Topshop Two, Carolina, has her 5 day Employment Tribunal hearing starting next Thursday 6th April and finishing the following Wednesday 12th April. A declaration from the tribunal that she was dismissed for her membership of UVW and participation in the campaign for a living wage will be a victory for all workers out there who are fighting for dignity, respect and a living wage. Stay tuned for updates.

The date of the hearing of the other member of the Topshop Two, Susana, is still to be confirmed.

LSE cleaners to strike on 15th & 16th march with a 100% yes vote

BREAKING NEWS: UVW members who clean the prestigious LSE University have returned a 100% YES vote for STRIKE action demanding DIGNITY & EQUALITY.

First strike dates 15th & 16th March.

Please consider donating to their strike fund if you can: https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/justiceforlsecleaners/

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This result is almost unprecedented and shows the strength of feeling among the cleaners*** and their determination to stop the LSE treating and paying them like second class workers.

What are the cleaners' demands? All they want is:
i) parity of basic terms and conditions of employment with the rest of the LSE community such as annual leave entitlement, sick pay, maternity/paternity/adoption leave pay and pensions; 
ii) a review of their workloads with the aim of reducing them;
iii) a review of the disciplinary proceedings used against them to make sure they are fair and proportionate; 
iv) the reinstatement of their colleague Alba Pasmino who was unlawfully and unnecessarily sacked with 2 days notice after 12 years service.

Do those demands sound unreasonable? Well according to the LSE they are. That's what the LSE's Chief Operating Office, Andrew Young, said.

So an institution which prides itself on learning about and combatting inequality around the world considers it unreasonable for their own cleaners to be treated with respect and receive the same basic terms and conditions of employment as everyone else?

Nearly all of UVW members at the LSE are migrants from Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, Jamaica and Colombia. All of the cleaners are from BME communities. There are no white British cleaners. This is compared to around 82% of LSE professors who are white.

The LSE has refused to talk to UVW or propose a settlement of this dispute.

***Nearly all of UVW members at the LSE are migrants from Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, Jamaica and Colombia. All of the cleaners are from BME communities. There are no white British cleaners. This is compared to around 82% of LSE professors who are white.