Hundreds of workers unite in the first national day of action against outsourcing

admin

14 March 2019

  • First coordinated strike of mainly migrant outsourced workers by three unions in three separate sites: Ministry of Justice, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the University of London.
  • Organised by UVW, IWGB, BEIS L&S PCS and RMT London Transport Regional Council.
  • Actions to coincide with landmark legal challenge that could extend the rights of the UK's 3.3 million outsourced workers

21 February: Hundreds of mainly migrant workers are expected to march through London on 26 February, in the first national day of action against outsourcing. The workers are demanding an end to outsourcing, as well as the insecurity, discrimination and low pay inherent in this management practice.

The #CleanUpOutsourcing march (more information here), organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), United Voices of the World (UVW), BEIS L&S PCS Union and RMT London Transport Regional Council, will coincide with three coordinated strikes organised by three unions and a landmark legal challenge on outsourcing at the High Court.

  • UVW cleaners and security officers will be on strike at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) demanding the living wage
  • PCS cleaners, security, catering staff and others will be on strike at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) demanding the living wage, equal terms and conditions and an end to outsourcing.
  • IWGB cleaners will be on strike at the University of London demanding equal terms and conditions with directly employed staff. The union will also be facing the university and the government's BEIS department at the High Court in a landmark legal challenge that could extend the rights of the UK's 3.3 million outsourced workers.

By using middlemen in the form of outsourcing companies, employers are able to offer some workers far worse pay, holiday entitlements, sick pay and pension contributions than those they directly employ. Outsourced workers are also much more likely to suffer from bullying and discrimination.

Yet recent years has seen an upsurge in organising and campaigning among outsourced workers, who have managed to secure better pay, improved terms and conditions and in some cases have even forced their employers to reverse outsourcing and hire them directly. Significant victories have taken place at the University of London Senate House, London School of Economics, Ernst & Young and the Daily Mail.

Shadow Secretary of State for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy Rebecca Long Bailey MP said: “For far too long workers in this country have suffered from worsening pay and conditions, while those at the top get richer. But seeing these mainly migrant workers from different unions come together to push back against the scourge of outsourcing gives me hope for the future of the Labour movement and the UK as a whole. These cleaners, receptionists and other outsourced workers have the courage to stand up and fight back, so we as the Labour party will be by their side every step of the way.”

Speakers on the day will include Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Rebecca Long Bailey MP and workers from the different campaigns. More to be confirmed.

Follow updates on social media using the hashtag #CleanUpOutsourcing.

Schedule of the day:

8am - Assemble at University of London Senate House, Russell Square 9:30 am - Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL 11:00 am - Rally at Parliament square with speeches from MPs 12:00pm – BEIS, 1 Victoria St, SW1H 0ET 12:30pm – MOJ, 102 Petty France, Westminster, London SW1H 9AJ