IWGB President Jason-Moyer Lee sent the following letter to the Royal College of Arts, calling on them to pay their outsourced cleaners the London Living Wage.
Dear Dr. Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Arts,
I am writing to you, in my capacity as President of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), on behalf of the outsourced workers at the Royal College of Arts who are members of our union.
As you are aware, cleaners on this contract currently earn just above the minimum wage of £6.50 per hour. As a growing consensus of Londoners accepts, the minimum wage simply is not enough to live on. I am therefore writing to request that the Royal College of Arts take immediate action to implement at least a minimum of the London Living Wage (£9.15) for all outsourced workers.
If it is not confirmed by 27 February, 2015 that the London Living Wage will be implemented starting in March’s pay packet, the outsourced workers at the Royal College of Arts are prepared to wage a high profile London Living Wage campaign. These workers will have the full support of the IWGB for this campaign.
Whilst by far the easiest solution would be for the Royal College of Arts to agree an immediate implementation of the London Living Wage, I would like to take this opportunity to be very clear about what will happen if the London Living Wage is not implemented. Among others, the following list of campaign tactics have proved successful in the past and will likely be used to win the London Living Wage at the Royal College of Arts:
1. Leafleting outside the college to raise awareness among the students, employees, and visitors;
2. Loud and disruptive protests;
3. Promoting awareness on social media, in particular Facebook and twitter;
4. Launching a website where campaign followers and participants can follow the latest news on the Royal College of Arts London Living Wage Campaign;
5. Campaign videos with interviews from workers as well as prominent supporters;
6. Write to Royal College of Arts donors and famous alumni to inform them of the fact that outsourced workers at the college are paid poverty wages;
7. Circulate press releases and obtain mainstream press coverage.
You and your colleagues may or may not be familiar with the IWGB and the campaigns this union has waged. However lest you have any doubts about the union’s track record on waging and winning living wage and other campaigns, it might be worth your while to peruse the union website (http://iwgb.org.uk/) and the history and press coverage of the 3 Cosas Campaign at the University of London (http://3cosascampaign.wordpress.com/press-reports/).
In closing, I would advise that the Royal College of Arts not question the determination of the IWGB to achieve justice in this matter. There is nothing that the union treats with more seriousness and urgency than achieving improved wages, terms, and conditions for its members.
The outsourced workers at the Royal College of Arts, and the IWGB more generally, look forward to receiving your response.
Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee
We await the response of the Royal College of Arts and hope they will implement the London Living Wage.