Cleaners announce biggest ever strike for outsourced workers in Higher Education
Over 100 cleaners, porters and receptionists, and other outsourced workers at the University of London (UoL) will strike on the 25th and 26th April, to demand an end to outsourcing, an end to zero hours contracts and pay rises.
Organised by the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), UoL workers are to hold the biggest-ever strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history, after a near unanimous vote in industrial action.
Outsourced workers receive worse pension, holiday pay, sick pay than colleagues in-house. A number of student campaigns around London, such as Justice for Workers at SOAS and LSE, have successfully campaigned to bring cleaners in-house. For universities such as King’s College London, this is an ongoing dispute.
In a press release, IWGB president Henry Chango-Lopez said: “The University of London has revealed the absolute contempt that it has for the workers that keep it running day after day by ignoring their repeated calls to be brought in-house.
“We will not stop until all workers are made direct employees with equal terms and conditions as in-house staff.”
This campaign has received the support of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, and a number of student unions and other trade unions.
The IWGB is the largest union at the UoL central administration buildings, which includes institutions such as Senate House.
Workers that are taking industrial action work for Cordant Security, Cordant Services and Nurture.
The strike will coincide with the Birkbeck graduation which is being hosted at Senate House on these dates, and comes on the heels of industrial action from hundreds of administrative and academic staff at universities around the UK.