It was too good to be true. Last week the University of London responded to the latest strike by its outsourced workers with this headline grabbing concession, stating in an intranet post that:
In addition it can now be confirmed that zero hour contracts will be eliminated by the end of the summer.
The IWGB immediately wrote to the University to confirm the details of this. We were told that this was being handled by the University’s catering contractor Aramark. So we wrote to Aramark. Here’s the response of their Director of Operations:
We are currently considering changes to our current contracts of employment in line with the University’s recent statement. Aramark will meet each of our employees individually to ascertain what contract best suits them; as there are a number of variables that they will need to consider given individual circumstances.
Should any of our team wish to be accompanied by you then I have no objection to you accompanying them to the meeting and with regards the time-frame, we are planning to complete our consultations and implement any agreed changes with our teams by the end of the 2018 calendar year.
Within the space of a few days, the University’s public statement has been completely contradicted by its contractor, who have added another 4 months at least onto the process before it has even begun.
If anyone was in any doubt as to why the campaign will continue until workers have a cast-iron guarantee and a firm date in the next year when they be in-house – now you see what we are dealing with!