Yesterday cleaners, carers and concierge workers, UVW members across the public and private sectors, have returned a massive mandate to strike for dignity, equality and respect.
The low-paid, Black, brown and migrant workers are joining forces across the following nine workplaces; an Amazon warehouse, a Mercedes-Benz showroom, London School of Economics, Streatham and Clapham private school, La Retraite state school, Sage Nursing home, the Department for Education, luxury apartments West End Quays and media powerhouse Ogilvy at the Sea Containers’ building.
Among the demands, the workers want a pay rise to cope with the increased cost of living. In some cases they are asking for a modest increase to the London Living Wage (LLW) of £11.95 per hour, such as at Amazon and Mercedes, which both behemoths have astonishingly refused, while some are demanding £13 and even £15 an hour. Others are asking for their lawful entitlement to annual leave pay and amended contracts which is being denied such as at the LSE; at Streatham and Clapham School the cleaners are calling for full sick pay and an end to outsourcing; and in the Department for Education the workers are demanding parity with civil service benefits while in other sites the workers are resisting detrimental changes to the timetable.
UVW members work early in the morning and through the night so that students, teachers, academics, sales people, office workers and civil servants can live, study and work in clean and safe spaces. They deserve dignity, equality and respect.
This is set to be UVW’s biggest coordinated industrial action to date as members join the current strike wave across the private and public sectors.