Wednesday 26 July: Striking workers from the homelessness charity St Mungo’s represented by Unite the Union have joined University College London (UCL) Security Guards represented by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to protest a number of banks and offices in the City of London today.
Striking workers will target workplaces affiliated with members of their respective governing bodies who have refused to engage with workers’ appeals: the St Mungo’s trustees and the UCL Council. Locations will include the London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Linklaters.
Maritza Castillo Calle, Vice President of IWGB Union and former UCL cleaner says, “Over the past few decades, there’s been a trend of public sector and charitable institutions shifting towards more profit-centric business models by corporate figures, who have come to dominate their governing bodies. The workers they have made precarious through those endeavours are now holding them to account.”
UCL Security Guards outsourced to subcontractor Bidvest Noonan, began 10 days’ of strike action last week over fire-and-rehire plans that will see 40 workers lose their jobs and the remaining 216 forced to reapply for roles with drastically worse conditions and pay cuts of up to £13,500 per year.
St Mungo’s workers have been on indefinite strike since last month, entering their ninth week this week, after a “pitiful” pay offer, averaging at 3.7%, was rejected by members of the union. Both groups of striking workers will also join members of the University College Union (UCU) at UCL at 1pm, who are currently undergoing a marking boycott as part of their national dispute.
Adam Lunat, an outsourced Security Guard at UCL, says: “At UCL we perform very different roles to the workers at St Mungo’s, but we share anger at this disregard from our long-term employers. Struggling frontline workers are ignored and silenced by the wealthy decision makers in their City headquarters. These governing figures could intervene today - instead their inaction forces us further into poverty. It is inspiring to see working people from all sectors stand together during a moment of crisis for everyone in the country.”
Gareth Davies, striking St Mungo’s worker, says: “St Mungo's homelessness workers stand in complete solidarity with striking IWGB workers at UCL. They're striking against a disinterested employer with no respect for frontline staff - and so are we. They are striking because of fair pay and conditions - and so are we. They're striking against a corporate culture focused on profits over people - and so are we.”
For more information, please contact:
Jake Thomas, Press Officer