I am writing you in my capacity as President of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), the trade union which represents the cleaners at the Royal College of Music It has come to my attention that you will be participating in that college’s graduation ceremony tomorrow.
You should be informed that the college currently has exploitative working conditions for its cleaners. In particular the cleaners receive no occupational sick pay, have only the statutory minimum amount of holidays, and receive minimal employer contributions for their pensions. This means that they are often constrained to work while sick, have difficulty going to their home countries to visit family, and have an insecure future. For more information on the current campaign for better terms and conditions, see https://royalcollegemusic3cosascampaign.wordpress.com/.
You should also be informed that in furtherance of this campaign we are staging a protest tomorrow at the College during the graduation ceremony. We are expecting a good turnout, complete with drums, vivuzuelas, chanting, and placards.
Finally, it is important for you to know that the reason we are staging the protest is because the Royal College of Music has refused to engage with the workers, their demands, and their union. We have offered to negotiate with the College- either directly or via ACAS- and the College has adamantly refused. We have even offered to suspend tomorrow’s protest in exchange for meaningful negotiations with an offer on improved terms and conditions in sight. This request was met with silence.
In sum, and on behalf of the Royal College of Music cleaners, I would request that you use your considerable influence with the Royal College of Music management to encourage them to do the right thing make an offer on decent terms and conditions for the people who spend their nights cleaning the College.
Thank you very much for you attention on this matter.
Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee