soasThere was a massive turnout today as the SOAS Justice for Cleaners 2-day strike kicked off, with many arriving at 4am to begin picketing.

Reports overnight indicated that the cleaning contractor ISS had attempted to bring in scab cleaners,and there had been violent assualts on student J4C supporters (

However, the strike appeared to be holding strong, with great support from directly-employed staff who were refusing to cross picket lines.

Earlier UNISON Branch Secretary Sandy Nicholl had stated:

‘UNISON were approached on Thursday of last week by ISS who said they wished to meet the union today to make an unspecified offer to resolve the dispute subject to UNISON suspending the strike action planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. A very well attended UNISON ISS members meeting took place this morning to consider our response and agreed unanimously to reject the conditions attached to these talks particularly as there were no details of the “offer” that ISS wished to make.

We reiterated that we were happy to meet ISS at any time to discuss any potential settlement but without preconditions. ISS turned this down stating that SOAS management had not authorised them to do so.’

The strike continues tomorrow – follow events on Twitter @SOASJ4C, or on Facebook at

The IWGB University of London branch passed a motion last week donating £100 to the SOAS strike fund, as well as pledging total solidarity, and several of our members were on the picket today.

Come along tomorrow if you can!