My name is Henry Lopez and I am writing you, in my capacity as the President of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) on behalf of our members at Ernst & Young , cleaners previously employed by OCS and now transferred to ISS.
It has come to our attention that the new outsourcing company ISS has informed workers who work at 1 more London Place and 25 Churchill Place at Canary Wharf about a proposed restructure.
They have been informed that their hours are to be reduced, and that there are likely to be redundancies.
This is an unbelievably unpleasant way for a new employer to treat its employees, with low-paid workers facing the prospect not just of having their hours reduced, but actually losing their jobs.
The result of these cuts will surely end up in additional workload for the workers who will have to clean the same areas with less staff.
I am therefore writing to request that Ernst & Young take the appropriate action and halt these plans immediately. If we do not receive concrete guarantees that these plans have been abandoned by 30th March 2018, the workers at Ernst & Young are prepared to launch a public campaign against this. These workers will have the full support of the IWGB for this campaign.
I would like to take this opportunity to be very clear about what this will entail. The following list of tactics have proved successful in the previous campaigns and will likely be used at Ernst & Young.
- Leafleting outside Ernst & Young to raise awareness among visitors, clients, and the public in general;
- Loud and disruptive protest;
- Promoting awareness in social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter;
- Campaign videos with interviews of workers as well as prominent supporters;
- Contacting to clients to inform them about the way these vulnerable workers are treated and to highlight the fact that the people who clean Ernst & Young, as well as already being exploited by getting paid lower wages and not enjoying the job security and conditions that the direct staff enjoy, are made to suffer the consequences of this unneeded restructure;
- Circulating press releases to obtain mainstream press coverage;
- Potential strike action.
- We will also take this opportunity to Inform the public that despite the London Living Wage being raised back in November 2017, Ernst & Young is failing to adhere to its commitments to its outsourced staff by not paying its cleaners £10.20 which needs to be back dated to November.
You and your colleagues may or may not be familiar with the IWGB and the campaigns this union has undertaken. However lest you have any doubts about the union’s track record on winning campaigns and stopping this kind of exploitative practices, it may be worth your while to peruse the union website (https://iwgb.org.uk/) and the history and press coverage of our campaigns (http://3cosascampaign.wordpress.com/press-reports/).
In closing, I would advise that Ernst & Young not question the determination of the IWGB to achieve justice in this matter. There is nothing that the union treats with more seriousness and urgency than achieving justice for its members.
The workers at Ernst & Young and the IWGB more generally are open to negotiations, and therefore looking forward to receiving your response.
Henry Chango Lopez