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12 September: The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is today launching its “Back in House” campaign, as it demands that the University of London end outsourcing, implement pay rises promised six years ago and abolish zero hours contracts at the institution.The University of London currently has around 250 outsourced workers including cleaners, security officers, receptionists, porters and post room workers, employed through several companies.
By outsourcing these 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.
This campaign builds on recent demands by security officers, receptionists, porters and post room workers that the university implement pay increases promised in 2011, when cleaners started to be moved onto the London Living Wage.
“Since 2012 the University of London has tripled the number of staff earning over £100,000 and the Vice-Chancellor's salary has increased from £153,000 to £173,400, yet it claims it doesn't have the money to improve the salaries of its lowest paid staff,” says IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez, who works as a porter at the University of London. “Every time we go to the university to complain about poor pay or conditions, they hide behind the outsourcing companies and say it isn't their responsibility. This has to stop and we are going to put an end to it.”Security officers, receptionists, porters and post room workers will be on strike over their pay on 27 September, coinciding with the “Precarious Labour Strikes Back” protest convened by the IWGB.
The protest, which will also coincide with Uber's appeal of the employment tribunal decision granting workers' rights to drivers and IWGB member James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, will be the first to bring together different types of precarious workers – from those in the gig-economy, to outsourced workers and beyond.
A video with testimonies from outsourced workers at the University of London can be found here. More videos will be released in the coming days.
More information on the protest can be found here.
To donate to the striking University of London workers click here.
For more Information:
Emiliano Mellino, Press officer
02034907530 or 02035383720