19 June, 2015, London. Low-paid workers at the prestigious Royal College of Music will protest today at 1 p.m. at the College (Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS) for improved sick pay, holidays, and pensions.
Like many higher education institutions, the Royal College of Music outsources services such as cleaning. As outsourcing often entails, the employees of these companies are on far inferior wages, terms, and conditions than their colleagues who work directly for the Royal College of Music. For example, the cleaners, employed by Ocean Integrated Services, receive no occupational sick pay, are on the statutory minimum amount of holidays and are entitled to only a lousy pension. “Not having sick pay means that we are obliged to come to work sick- I have had to work with the flu, with a fever, and with other illnesses,” said Cristobal Barzallo Maldonado, a Royal College of Music cleaner.
After years of earning poverty wages outsourced workers at the college decided that enough was enough and they joined the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in order to campaign for the London Living Wage, a rate of pay considered across the political spectrum to be the minimum necessary to avoid living in poverty. After starting to agitate in the workplace, and following a threat of a high profile campaign, the Royal College of Music started paying their cleaners the London Living Wage in May, 2015.
However, the London Living Wage is not enough for decent working conditions, so the workers have decided to campaign for better sick pay, holidays, and pensions. The RCM 3 Cosas Campaign- modelled on the successful University of London 3 Cosas Campaign which was also waged by the IWGB- has just started yet has already attracted support from RCM students and others such as Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett. Maritza Castillo Calle, Vice-Chair of the IWGB branch the RCM workers belong to, said: “If the RCM doesn’t cave with today’s protest we will keep campaigning until we achieve our objectives. The fight will continue until victory!”
For more information, see: https://rcm3cosascampign.wordpress.com/
Contact: IWGB President Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee at Jasonmoyerfirstname.lastname@example.org or at 07771783094.
To follow the latest developments see: Facebook: 3 Cosas Campaign at Royal College of Music; Twitter: @3CosasRCM