lunchbox-cafe-student-central-london1The University is continuing to press ahead with plans to shut the Student Central Lunchbox cafe and make staff redundant, despite IWGB objections that:

  • the consultation thus far has been a sham
  • the cafe is a resource for the wider University community
  • promises made to staff when Aramark took over the cafe less than 2 years ago have not been kept.

A UCL student told us that the closure came as ‘a complete surprise. This is a communal area that is really widely used and it’s not fair on us or the staff to just shut it down to build more offices’.

University of London staff, for whom the cafe had been a particularly valuable meeting point during the recent strike action, also complained that they had not been consulted over the decision to close.

The IWGB has flagged up the fact that the University customarily provides enhanced redundancy for its own employees, whereas its catering contractor Aramark pays only the statutory minimum. This means that long-standing employees stand to lose up to £10k having been transferred less than 2 years ago to Aramark with assurances that ‘nothing would change’.

Since then they claim the company has forced them to use its own expensive and substandard suppliers and has failed to invest, effectively forcing what had been a thriving concern into insolvency.

The IWGB has called for the process to be halted and a proper consultation to take place – if you want to knwo more do just email us at