protest: justice for cleaners at john lewis

20 06 2012

Come to a lively protest to stand in solidarity with the cleaners at John Lewis
This Saturday, 3pm
John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX

The cleaners are demonstrating because they are….

1) All on the minimum poverty wage of £6.08 p/hour and are demanding the London Living Wage of £8.30 p/hour.
2) Often not paid for the hours they work.
3) Not provided appropriate equipment or protection.
4) Discriminated against by their managers. For example, some Hindu cleaners are called ‘bloody Indians’, whilst some larger employees are called ‘pig heads’
5) At threat of seeing 50% redundancies. The remaining 50% of the cleaners would be expected to cover the work of those made redundant with the same hours and with no extra pay!
6) Prejudicially excluded from the so-called John Lewis partnership. Read the rest of this entry »





urgent protest: justice for cleaners at the lse

12 06 2012

From IWW Cleaners Branch
Come and stand in solidarity with the cleaners at the London School of Economics on Wednesday 13 June 2012, from 1PM – 2:30PM
LSE, Houghton Street, City of Westminster, WC2A 2AE – Just by Natwest bank

The IWW Cleaners at London School of Economics will be staging a lively protest to…

1) Stop the LSE from reducing the cleaner’s working hours
2) Stop the LSE from intensifying the cleaner’s working day
3) Stop the LSE from giving with one hand and taking with the other
4) Stop the LSE from treating the cleaners like second-class employees
5) Publicly expose Resource’s management’s inveterate practice of racist bullying Read the rest of this entry »





london busworkers: olympic 500 – phoney war or wages battle?

9 06 2012

First published in Solidarity Forever, paper of London Regional Committee IWW(IWGB), which comprises the London Busworkers Branch (IU IU530)

The union Unite has raised the profile of the campaign to secure a £500 bonus payment for the 28,000 bus workers in London. Leaflets, posters and even executive members have appeared in some garages. The demand for the bonus is just. The increased revenue the bus companies will make during the Olympics will more than cover the cost of a bonus in recognition of the even more stress and demands placed on bus workers. However, this issue raises far wider questions. The campaign has placed on the agenda the more important issue of the steady deterioration of bus workers wages and working conditions. Read the rest of this entry »





cops back bosses bullying cleaners

12 01 2012

Siobhan Breathnach reports on Guildhall cleaners standing up against management bullying

The Guildhall cleaners started organising in the summer against bad conditions and non-payment of wages. They have joined the cleaners’ branch of the Industrial Workers of the World and fought for the London Living Wage and against bullying and harassment. The company, Sodexo, have responded to this by trying to force the organised cleaners to leave. They have suspended a union rep, who is still waiting for the resolution of his case after months.

Recently, the employer’s tactics of intimidation have got worse and some cleaners held a sit-in to protest, which started on 22nd December. They had been subject to all kinds of abuse, including one woman being locked in an area for two hours, and another being taken into the basement and threatened. Some of us from The Commune and SolFed went down to support them just after Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »





heron tower cleaners’ protest

18 08 2011

Today’s demonstration cancelled… due to total victory. See first comment below. 

The IWW IU 640 Cleaners Branch Is fighting to get the living wage at Heron Tower. The cleaning company LCC accepted they would pay it, but now are bullying our members, reducing the working hours and increasing the work load

Our position is clear: any increase in salaries must be real and not be offset by any reduction of working hours or increased work load.
FOR A REAL LIVING WAGE!





cleaners’ strike in the city pays dividends

3 08 2011

Cleaner activist Alberto Durango reports on a strike which shows that direct action works

According to the website of London’s Guildhall, it was designed to show the power of London’s ruling elite. This tradition is continued today by annual speeches by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of the Bank of England. The most recent event was a dinner in tribute to the new Ronald Reagan statue attended by the Foreign Secretary, Condoleezza Rice and other dignitaries.

London's Guildhall: a monument to the wealthy

Though regularly hosting wealthy patrons of this ancient and prestigious venue, they fail to pay the cleaners for the hours actually worked. Even when paid the cleaners get only £5.95 an hour, far short of the £8.30 ‘living wage’ calculated for one of the world’s most expensive cities. Read the rest of this entry »





third global commune report, trade unions – are they fit for purpose?

10 02 2011

It was generally agreed by participants that the third Global Commune event, jointly hosted by the Republican Communist Network (RCN) and the commune, on Saturday, January 29th, was a very worthwhile day. Writes Allan Armstrong.

A union official addresses London dockers, 1947.

Once again, the event was held in the ‘Out of the Blue’ Centre in Leith (Edinburgh) and involved, as well as the organising groups, members of the Independent Workers Union (IWU) in Ireland, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Permanent Revolution, the Autonomous Centre in Edinburgh (ACE), current and ex-members of the SSP, and the Anarchist Federation. Read the rest of this entry »





precarious work and solidarity

14 11 2010

Tawanda Nyabango reports on discussions among cleaner solidarity activists

At this year’s Anarchist bookfair the Industrial Workers of the World organised a discussion around the issue of solidarity with cleaners. Speakers included a Cleaners Defence Committee regular, a leading organiser in the University College London Living Wage Campaign and a member of The Commune.

The meeting began with the speaker from the Cleaners Defence Committee giving a brief outline of the struggles and solidarity actions that took place earlier on this year. These included the Willis insurance and School of Oriental and African Studies cleaners’ disputes in 2009, and more recently the struggle UBS cleaners and the campaign to reinstate victimised shop steward Alberto Durango. The Cleaners Defence Committee has sought to assist and build links between these disputes. Read the rest of this entry »





berns salonger demo 22nd october; cleaners’ defence committee meetings

17 10 2010

Call-out from the Cleaners’ Defence Committee

On Thursday 21st October the Cleaners Defence Committee will hold a mass meeting covering cleaners struggles in UK and Berns, at UCL. After the demonstration on Friday 22nd October there will be a social in aid of the Berns workers at LARC, and there will be 3 meetings that will include coverage of these struggles at the Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 23rd October. Read the rest of this entry »





demo to support berns salonger cleaners

6 09 2010

An IWW member reports on a recent demo in London in solidarity with migrant cleaners at Berns Salonger, a Swedish night club which has seen a long-running dispute over victimisations, low wages and 22-hour shifts.

On 13th August 2010 the Cleaners Defence Committee, London IWW Branch, and other supporters demonstrated outside the offices of London Regional [the club’s owner] in solidarity with the SAC [the workers’ union] for two hours, handing out information to the staff and passers-by.

The turnout was good and was supported by other groups including branches of The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT) Solidarity Federation, Feminist Fightback, Latin American Workers Association, London Coalition Against Poverty amongst others. Read the rest of this entry »





migrant cleaners and organising solidarity

30 05 2010

by David Broder

The recession has seen increasing anti-immigration sentiment in British society, but also many in the labour movement advocating ‘keeping our heads down’ until the economy picks up – these two factors, combined with the inefficacy of Justice for Cleaners and the concomitant attacks on migrant cleaners’ conditions, sharply pose the need for better organisation.

After the partial success of the dispute at Swiss bank UBS in the City of London, it is worth considering the way ahead for the migrant cleaners’ campaign, which in its various forms has challenged border controls, casualisation as well as the established unions. For more background see this article on Latin American cleaners in the UNITE union and this report on the UBS campaign. Read the rest of this entry »





gains from UBS cleaners’ dispute

18 05 2010

by Chris Kane

The cleaners’ struggle at Swiss bank UBS has extracted some significant concessions from the bosses, thanks to a determined campaign.

As reported in previous issues of The Commune, in February UBS switched to cut-price contractor Lancaster, effectively meaning a 10.75% pay cut for cleaning staff in its City of London offices. When the immigrant workforce protested this injustice, their elected shop steward Alberto Durango was fired by Lancaster in a blatant act of victimisation. Read the rest of this entry »





putting the bank managers on the back foot

27 04 2010

by Jack Staunton

On Friday 23rd April the traditional St. George’s Day celebrations returned to the City of London after a 425-year gap: but the streets of this capital of capital also witnessed events more internationalist in character.

As many as 100 people turned out for the latest in a series of demonstrations in solidarity with the migrant cleaners at Swiss bank UBS. The widely-supported campaign against an effective 11% pay cut and the victimisation of shop steward Alberto Durango has put management on the back foot (more details soon) and also served as a rallying point for a number of inter-related struggles. Read the rest of this entry »








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,925 other followers