The outsourced cleaners at La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School in south London will return to the picket line for the second time in three years. The action has been called following the school’s insistence at changing the cleaners’ working hours, which will result in many of them facing the sack as they already have other jobs for the proposed new time. Many have worked at the school for several years.
Cleaning contractor SSL agreed to come up with an alternative proposal which the school leadership vetoed despite initially agreeing to it. La Retraite management walked out of the last consultation meeting within minutes, refusing to consult further, with three UVW members suspended and one dismissed.
Negotiations have broken down and the cleaners will join forces with striking NEU teacher members on the 5 and 7 July. One of the UVW cleaners has been dismissed without being allowed to work their notice and three others suspended for, we believe, their active role in trade union activities in their workplace.
The La Retraite cleaners are the eighth and latest group of UVW low-paid migrant workers to join the wave of strikes across the public and private sectors this summer. Seven other groups of UVW cleaners, carers and concierge workers held simultaneous and coordinated strike action across Greater London on the 13, 15 and 20 June.