Dear Royal College of Music staff
My name is Henry Lopez, and I am the President of the IWGB union which represents cleaners at the Royal College of Music. I am writing because I believe that it is important that you all know the truth behind the lies that the RCM has told in order to hide their disgraceful employment practices in regard to their cleaners.
At our protest on 10 March, RCM management handed out a flyer (attached here) to concert attendees which was filled with falsehoods.
First lie: Tenon FM made changes in cleaning services, transferring cleaners to daytime hours.
TRUTH: The cleaners, who previously worked from 12am to 6am, would under the new contract have to work from 4am to 7am. It would mean that cleaners would have to wake up at 2am in order to get to work. This is under no reasonable understanding of the facts working during the day.
Second lie: Tenon FM are doubling the number of cleaners on site. This is not a cost cutting exercise.
TRUTH: The fact that this IS a cost cutting exercise ordered by the RCM and that NO extra staff would be hired was confirmed by Tenon FM in a minuted meeting held on the 15th December 2017.
Third lie: Alternative working hours would be offered to the cleaners to make up for their lost hours.
TRUTH: Hours were offered but they either a) clashed with other jobs the cleaners already had b) paid minimum wage instead of the living wage they were earning at the college, resulting in a pay cut of over 25% or c) were at completely unreasonable hours, ie a shift would finish at 8pm and then the cleaner would be expected to be at work at the RCM at 4am. Was the cleaner expected to sleep four hours a night?
Half truth: A compensatory payment was offered to each worker
TRUTH: The payment offered in the case of some workers, would cover a little over a month’s pay, little compensation for having your pay cut in half after five years of loyal service.
Fifth lie: A transition period would occur where cleaners work for three hours and are paid for six.
TRUTH: At no point was this offered or executed.
Sixth lie: RCM and Tenon are seeking an amicable way forward.
TRUTH: We have on several occasions asked to speak to RCM Director Colin Lawson or any other member of RCM management, but have never been given a response. We have therefore been left with no other option but to start legal proceedings against Tenon FM for unfair dismissal and against the college for discrimination.
Thank you for you attention on this matter and we hope that you as employees of this institution do not have to go through this unfair treatment in order to have your rights respected.
Henry Chango Lopez