BREAKING NEWS! Since this article was published this morning the University of London have been in touch with the IWGB with partial answers to the issues raised. Get in touch (uol@iwgb.org.uk) if you want more details!

IWGB members working in the maintenance team are to launch a formal collective grievance against the University and its contractor Bouygues following a series of failings relating to the re-discovery of asbestos across the University of London site.

The site had been declared asbestos-free following a series of previous scandals, most recently in 2002-3 at the then  Institute of Germanic Studies.

However, it recently transpired that these tests had not been carried out properly, and that areas which had been declared safe were in fact contaminated.

Staff who have been working in those areas are understandably extremely concerned as to the danger they might have been exposed to. However, despite the gravity of the situation, the University has thus far only provided vague and generic assurances that the asbestos is now being cleared, and that the risks were minimal.

Meanwhile:

  • The University has refused to confirm that an investigation will be conducted into how areas were declared safe when the asbestos had not been removed
  • Staff are still being pressured to go into affected areas without adequate training or protective clothing
  • The University has refused to release the detailed sample reports from the most recent surveys
  • The University has failed to address a series of detailed questions on this issue submitted by the affected staff in December
  • The University has failed to inform other potentially affected staff, visitors, or residents at the its Halls of Residence, of these ongoing asbestos risks

As such the IWGB, who represent maintenance workers at the University, will be submitting a formal grievance this week, and pressing, among other things, for a full formal enquiry.

Please feel free to get in touch with any concerns via uol@iwgb.org.uk.

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