United Voices of the World (UVW) trade union have occupied the reception at Ministry of Justice HQ in London in solidarity with UVW cleaners striking over pay and unfair working conditions.
A short video from MoJ occupation:
The simultaneous cleaners’ strikes are currently taking place at the Ministry of Justice, Health Care America and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Yesterday, Kensington and Chelsea council representative agreed to meet the striking cleaners on the picket line today morning to discuss their demands.
The workers involved in all three disputes share three common grievances and have three common demands:
1) An occupational sick pay scheme
Amey, OCS and Compass do not have an occupational sick pay scheme. This means workers rely on Statutory Sick Pay. SSP is unpaid for the first three days of illness. Thereafter workers will receive just £18 per day from the fourth day of sickness onwards. This means workers are being forced to come to work when sick in order to meet their living costs such as the astronomical rents in the capital. Workers, say UVW are having to choose between their health and their home.
2) Parity of terms and conditions with directly employed staff
The second common grievance and demand of the strike is equality between subcontracted and directly employed staff in terms of holiday entitlements, hours and overtime pay. A two-tier workforce leads to undercutting, a race to the bottom and exploitation say UVW.
3) Payment of the London Living Wage with guaranteed annual increments
The London Living Wage is currently £10.20ph – a stark contrast to the National Minimum Wage, bizarrely re-labelled the National Living Wage by the Conservative Government in 2016, which is just £7.83ph.
Source, photo and video: UVW