Independent Workers Union of Great Britain

Hundreds to protest against outsourcing at University of London Senate House

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24 JAN: Hundreds of people are expected to protest tomorrow (25 January) at the University of London’s Senate House demanding an end to outsourcing and in support of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) Back in-House campaign.

The IWGB is demanding that the university bring its approximately 250 outsourced workers – among them cleaners, security officers, receptionists, porters, post room staff and catering – in-house, that it put all workers currently on zero-hours contracts on full hours and that it implement the pay rises it promised but failed to deliver.

Security officers and receptionists will be on strike on the day, with a picket from 2pm. Other outsourced workers, including cleaners and porters, as well as direct employees, will be joining the protest from 6pm. The strike will coincide with the UK’s biggest Postgraduate fair, which is taking place at Senate House on the day.

By outsourcing its essential services, the university is able to get away with employing these workers under worse conditions than their in-house staff. Outsourced workers receive worse pensions, holiday pay and sick pay entitlements than their in-house colleagues.

But more importantly, outsourced staff are generally more likely to suffer from bullying, discrimination and illegal deduction of wages.

Mismanagement by outsourcing companies contracted by the University of London has been well documented.

IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “The public is becoming aware now more than ever of the massive waste, incompetence and unfair treatment of workers inherent in the outsourcing model, and the university of London is no exception. We are calling on them to end outsourcing and end it now.

IWGB rep and cleaner at the University of London Margarita Cunalata said: “I’ve been working for six years as a cleaner at the University of London and still they treat me as a second class worker, with far worse terms and conditions than staff directly employed by the university. I’m going to keep on fighting until all of us outsourced workers get a fair deal and are brought in-house.”

The campaign, which was launched by the IWGB in September 2017, has received the support of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP (click here for his video message), Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and a number of trade union and student union branches.

The last protest and strike at Senate House, which took place in November, was attended by around 500 people. Photos can be found herehere and here.

The facebook event page for tomorrow’s protest can be found here.

You can donate to the strike fund here.

The IWGB is the biggest union at the University of London’s central administration buildings.

For more information:

Emiliano Mellino, Press officer

press@iwgb.co.uk

 

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