IWGB President writes to Ernst & Young cleaning bosses to denounce intimidation of workers

IWGB Archives

30 July 2018

Dear Rhys

I am addressing this email to you directly as it has come to our attention that you have been holding meetings with our members employed by ISS at Ernst & Young offices in London at which you have stated the following:

  1. You have told workers that the planned job cuts and the cuts in hours have stopped “for the moment”.
  2. You have told workers that Ernst & Young have fought for them and that they should be grateful because they have done so for them.
  3. You have told workers that the fact that you have stopped your planned job cuts has nothing to do with the union.
  4. You have told them to work harder and to go the extra mile for the opportunity that they have been given.

Given the arrogant manner in which you have addressed our members, trying to belittle them for their achievement in organising and fighting back against the plans of ISS and Ernst & Young to exploit them, I am going to address your statements point by point in the same manner that you have done at these meetings:

  1. Thank you for giving the workers and us the heads up that the cease of the planned job cuts is temporary! It’s good to know this as it will give us time to prepare for our next actions. In any case we want to be very clear that we have also stopped our planned actions “for the moment” and we will be keeping an eye on any further developments or changes that may affect our members, and will act accordingly.
  2. If this is the case, I would like to thank Ernst & Young for the enormous efforts they have put into this fight. In fact, given that they are apparently very keen in fighting the injustices which are rife in the world of outsourcing, I would like to invite them to join us in the struggle and start by making a donation to one of our big campaigns that we are currently running, namely to end outsourcing at the University of London. Here is the link: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/6487/independent-workers-union-of-great-Britain
  3. You will never be able to sell these lies to the workers again, as every person with any common sense knows that Ernst & Young halted these job cuts to stop further embarrassment coming from the workers and their union’s campaign actions, so please stop talking all this nonsense to these workers and start treating them with the respect that you would address direct employed staff. I am sure you will never dare to talk to them in that way, nor would they allow you to.
  4. Just this week workers have informed us that ISS have decided not to put any replacements for the many workers that have left the job and have also taken away all the overtime that they were doing expecting them to do the extra job without remuneration, so I wonder if what you meant by “going the extra mile” was that they now have to work harder like sweatshop slaves in order to keep your client happy! If that is the case I would like to make clear to Ernst & Young that as soon as the workers who are very upset about the current “new ways of working” situation decide to take action to stop this abuse, we will be backing them up and will re-start our campaign at any moment with a series of actions including collective grievances and strikes.

PS: Dear Ernst & Young, if you really care and want to help these workers and treat them fairly for the important work they do for you, I would suggest that you start by making sure that the outsourcing company you have chosen to run the cleaning contract treats your workers like human beings, doesn’t exploit them and most of all makes sure that morons masquerading as managers don’t address workers at meetings in this manner.

Kind regards

Henry Chango Lopez