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.

We are hiring

Do you want to work with a member-led, grassroots union which is at the forefront of helping some of the lowest paid, oppressed and unrepresented groups of predominantly migrant workers organise themselves and fight for living wages, dignity and respect?

We’re looking for a caseworker and organiser (one role) to advise, represent, organsie and inspire our growing membership to take action.

Requirements: 
- a good level of knowledge of UK employment law, experience in employment law case-work, and representng workers in grievance/disciplinary hearings. 
- due to the large number of non-English speaking Latin American members we need someone who can confidently translate between English and Spanish. 
- a burning desire to help our members get organised and get the bosses of their backs!

Desirable: 
- experience in organising workers / organising campaigns.
- knowledge of employment tribunal system.

More details will be given when we meet.

We're initially asking someone to join us for 3 or 4 days a week for a three month period, with the possibility of an increase in the number of working days per week and also an extension beyond the initial period of three months.

We'll pay £10 an hour. 

If you think you're up for the job please write to info@uvwunion.org.uk and include any information you think it would be good for us to know about. No CVs please.

Strike at the LSE

BREAKING NEWS: Due to the LSE's continued arrogant and elitist refusal to speak to the cleaners and to bring their terms and conditions in line with the rest of LSE staff, or to review workloads/disciplinary procedures and reinstate unlawfully sacked Alba, UVW has given official notice to ballot the cleaners at the LSE for strike action. 

This is the first ballot of outsourced staff in the 126 year history of LSE. Ballot period is expected to close by the end of February. 

If you haven't already donated to their strike fund please consider doing so here https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/justiceforlsecleaners/

Here are a few videos from a few different momentS throughout the Justice for LSE cleaners campaign so far. 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1181972355204335/ (LSE cleaners threaten to strike back in Oct 2016) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1182001361868101/ (LSE cleaners speak of how they are being segregated at the LSE)

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1175535385848032/(UVW holds first ope Justice for LSE cleaners meeting) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1182827518452152/(protest in support of Alba was was unlawfully sacked by Noonan) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1230752723659631/(march through the old building in support of the cleaners) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1232521893482714/(another protest in support of the cleaners demands) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1282260185175551/(Mildred speaks about why the cleaners are going on strike) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1292245257510377/(Mildred talks about the hardship of not getting propers sick pay) 

https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/videos/1296316480436588/ (LSE cleaners strike building breakfast and Mildred talk more about the need for change at the LSE)

Victory at Harrods!

VICTORY! VICTORY! VICTORY!

We have beaten Harrods, the richest and most prestigious department store in the world! 100% of the service charge will now go to staff!

Congratulations to our members, the Harrods restaurant workers, for their resilience and courage and for getting organised and standing up to their employer's outrageous practices.

Background

After Harrods' chefs and waiters joined UVW we immediately submitted a claim for 100% of the service charge to go to staff. Harrods had previously been taking up to 75% for themselves, without admitting the exact percentage. This was equivalent to  around £5000 per worker per year.

After helping the chefs and waiters build towards a potential strike and mobilising hundreds of people for a massive demonstration which ended up shutting down Knightsbridge and much of Harrods, and threats of regular and even bigger demonstrations to come, Harrods finally gave in and agreed to give 100% of the service charge to staff.

They also agreed to our other demands of appointing an independent tronc master to administer the service charge and allowing staff to sit on the tronc committee.

This victory sends out a clear message to the rest of the restaurant and hospitality industry that workers are no longer going to accept anything less than 100% of the tips and trade unions are ready to help them get organised and fight.

The success of the campaign at Harrods offers a powerful model to follow for other workers across the industry.

We will now continue to push Harrods to improve the conditions and pay of their workers and demand proper union recognition.

More on the campaign:

Read articles about our victory on politics.co.uk and the Guardian. You can also watch our video of the demo and browse some of the photos.