UCL cleaners, security, students, volunteers and IWGB staff gathered at 8am this morning for the weekly IWGB breakfast stall on Malet Place.
As UCL cleaners finish their shifts on Fridays, they meet with others involved in the union and the in-house campaign at UCL to share coffee, pastries, life updates, and any issues they’re facing at work.
The stalls are an important part of the campaign at UCL and the general union presence at UCL. They provide an opportunity for workers to resolve any workplace issues (like missing holiday pay or wrongly issued uniforms) with caseworkers and organisers from the union. But most importantly they’re a space for strengthening relationships and building the community that has helped make the campaign so successful so far.
If you would like to come along to the next stall, we meet at 8am at the entrance to UCL on Malet Place every Friday.
This morning Jason Moyer-Lee, General Secretary of the IWGB, delivered a letter to the Provost of UCL with an ultimatum: bring the outsourced security officers, cleaners and porters in-house by October 7th or face a strong and well-organised campaign by the workers and the union!
The IWGB represents the majority of security and around 150 cleaners at UCL, and has been building towards a campaign for the past 18 months, holding breakfast stalls, outreach visits to isolated buildings, and working with members to elect reps among the workforce.
The outsourced employees, many of them migrant workers, have endured years of poor management, disrespect, low or missing pay, and exploitation by the third-party companies that employ them – Axis and Sodexo – companies not exactly known for their respect for human rights or the well-being of migrants…
Now, through the union, these workers are taking a stand and demanding justice. By being brought in house, they will be eligible for the same rights, sick pay, holidays, maternity pay, and pensions as their directly employed colleagues and will be able to hold UCL accountable for any issues they face at work, rather than having to negotiate with faceless third-party companies.
UCL is the behemoth of London unis, the second biggest university in the country and the only remaining major London university not to have committed to ending the outsourcing of its workers. We would not be commencing this battle if we did not feel the workers, the union, and the rest of the university community were ready to win.
We hope that Michael Arthur will be wise enough to agree to this, or at least to enter into negotiations. If not, we will be with the workers every step of their way in their struggle.
If you are interested in being involved in the campaign (we welcome students past and present, members of staff, and anyone else), please leave your details here.
September, as ever, is a time of change; of endings and beginnings. As we look forward to welcoming new students to the campaign, we must bid farewell to those moving on to other exciting endeavours.
At this morning’s UCL breakfast stall we said a very sad goodbye and a HUGE thank you to Charlotte, one of our UCL student volunteers who is graduating and moving abroad. Charlotte has been an amazingly valuable member of the team this year, fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, dependable and friendly, and somehow ALWAYS bringing smiles and laughter to our all-weather 8am breakfast stalls.
We presented her with a card, signed by UCL cleaners, security officers, union reps and students, full of words of thanks. We wish her all the best for the future, look forward to welcoming her back one day, and in the meantime will be giving her a proper IWGB send-off at the University of London strike fundraising fiesta at New Speak House tonight…
This morning students and IWGB reps at UCL held their weekly breakfast stall outside the Roberts engineering building at the UCL main campus. In addition to the usual spread of croissants and pastries, IWGB member Jose brought three fresh loaves of delicious Colombian bread which were extremely popular. 🥖🥖🥖 ☕️☕️
The breakfast stall is a great way to keep in touch with our members, but some are unable to come since they work in buildings that are located further away from the main campus or have several jobs. So we have also been busy organising lots of visits to different UCL buildings in order to reach more members! 🚀 🏦🏫
If you would like to get involved in the campaign at UCL, we would love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at UCL Justice for Workers or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you with more information about what we do and how you can support workers in their fight for better employment conditions at UCL. 🤜🤛