Report of voting/Informe electoral — July 20, 2017
Jason reviews the Taylor Review for the Guardian — July 19, 2017

Jason reviews the Taylor Review for the Guardian

Jason Moyer-Lee has written a scathing criticism of the Taylor Review for the Guardian. Highlights include:

“Wishy-washy and full of fluff”

“Fell far short of expectations”

“An inaccurate understanding of the law as it currently stands”

“Full of vacuous fluff and light on substantive proposals”

“Little burden on employers, and no tangible impact on workers”

“No remedy if the employer says no”

“Some truly horrendous ideas”

“A damp squib, largely devoid of useful substance”

“This review has woefully under-delivered”

You can read it here:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/18/taylor-review-gig-economy-workers

UoL Asbestos meeting – Thursday 20 July —

UoL Asbestos meeting – Thursday 20 July

Following the concerns that IWGB raised around asbestos in university buildings, UoL is holding a meeting for staff to discuss the action the university has taken. You can read about it here (text copied below): https://uolonline.sharepoint.com/news/Pages/Asbestos-in-University-Buildings

As you may be aware, access to some areas of the University of London
estate has been restricted since late 2016 following the unexpected
discovery of some asbestos fibres.  A briefing was held in December 2016
with the small number of individuals who may have undertaken maintenance
work within some of these areas and a communication was circulated to all
University of London staff in March of this year.

The University has arranged for a follow-up briefing to take place on
Thursday 20th July (full details listed below), which will be open to
University of London staff and the relevant members of staff at Bouygues.
At this briefing the University will be providing a re-cap on the impact of
the findings, an update on surveys and confirmation of the actions that the
University has taken since the last briefing.

The briefing will be delivered by Mr Martin Stear, BSc DipOH CFFOH,
Chartered Occupational Hygienist, in conjunction with members of staff from
Property and Facilities Management.  Information on Martin’s experience and
expertise can be found here
<http://www.healthsafetyspecialists.co.uk/index.php/about-wes-the-health-and
-safety-specialists
> .

Timing: There will be two briefing sessions held on Thursday morning at
10am and 11am.

If you would like to attend one of these sessions, please email Emilie
Ernoult (emilie.ernoult@london.ac.uk) to confirm which session you would
like to attend.

Location details:   N301 (Senate House – North Block).

(Please email any questions that you would like to be covered to Emilie in
advance of the briefing, to ensure that sufficient time is allocated to
cover these).

Asbestos in University Buildings – 1:1 appointments with Martin Stear

In addition to the morning briefing sessions, Martin will be available for
pre-bookable 1:1 appointments on the afternoon of Thursday 20th June.
Appointments will last approximately 20 minutes in duration and will be
available from 1pm – 4.30pm.  If you wish to book an appointment, please
email Emilie Ernoult (emilie.ernoult@london.ac.uk​ in order to arrange this.

IWGB response to the Taylor Review — July 17, 2017

IWGB response to the Taylor Review

Fourteen IWGB members have signed the IWGB’s response to the Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices, calling for much needed improvements to the Review across 3 main areas:

The law, which was misrepresented by the Review failing to recognise that not only are workers already self-employed under employment law but that workers already have rights to minimum wage, holiday pay and others. The combination of rights and flexibility that Taylor seeks to achieve is already accessible to workers.

The process, where the Review has many unanswered questions, notably relating to early Deliveroo investor Greg Marsh, corporate solicitor Diane Nicol and the mind-boggling exclusion of any worker or trade union representative.

The Report, which was deeply disappointing. Most of the proposals are so vague they are next to meaningless and some of the substantial suggestions, such as the suggested changes to the minimum wage for workers in the so called “gig economy”

You can read the full response on the main IWGB website.

 

Massive Taylor Review press roundup! — July 13, 2017

Massive Taylor Review press roundup!

IWGB has been in the press a lot due to the release of the Taylor Review (Good Work: The Taylor Review into Modern Working Practices). We’ve got some opinions about it, to say the least! Here is just some of the press coverage from the last few days!

The Daily Mail, surprisingly, took a dim view of our participation in the debate:

÷BBC and Sky News presented members of the hard-Left Independent Workers Union of Great Britain as ordinary workers in coverage of the review yesterday.

Ben Geraghty appeared on Sky with the caption ‘Deliveroo driver’. He was described as an IWGB organiser when he wrote for the Financial Times in 2016.

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme spoke to Megan Brown, a ‘courier for a food delivery company’. She was described as chairman of the courier branch of the IWGB by Buzzfeed in May.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4687412/Middle-class-families-told-not-cash.html

They aren’t “ordinary workers”, they are extraordinary workers!

On Deliveroo investor and panel member Greg Marsh:

https://www.ft.com/content/95392a68-6596-11e7-8526-7b38dcaef614

http://uk.businessinsider.com/onefinestay-founder-greg-marsh-deliveroo-investor-gig-economy-2017-7

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/matthew-taylor-report-unions-slam-review-which-spectacularly-fails-a7835191.html

https://leftfootforward.org/2017/07/we-need-a-review-into-the-gig-economy-led-by-the-workers-themselves/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/11/may-relaunches-premiership-with-new-protections-for-gig-economy-workers

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/government-review-into-gig-economy-employment-rights-branded-feeble-35912359.html

http://www.alphr.com/politics/1006279/taylor-report-calls-for-protections-for-gig-economy-workers

http://www.edp24.co.uk/business/matthew-taylor-review-union-leaders-disappointed-by-missed-opportunity-1-5100574

https://www.digitallook.com/news/general-news/report-into-uk-gig-economy-slammed-as-wasted-opportunity–2763199.html

Other reactions with IWGB comments:

https://www.ft.com/content/89fd7738-658e-11e7-8526-7b38dcaef614

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/taylor-review-gig-economy-workers_uk_5963692be4b0d5b458ebc1e5

https://www.metro.news/gig-economy-firms-let-off-in-shake-up/670627/

http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/15400874.Gig_economy_firms_being____let_off_the_hook_____unions_claim_ahead_of_new_report/

http://clicklancashire.com/2017/07/11/gig-economy-firms-let-off-in-shake-up.html

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/business/business-news/gig-economy-workers-set-down-13309203

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/national/15400874.Gig_economy_firms_being____let_off_the_hook_____unions_claim_ahead_of_new_report/

http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/gig-economy-firms-being-let-off-the-hook-unions-claim-ahead-of-new-report-11364194777061

On Deliveroo’s claims earlier this week:

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c0fd-Deliveroo-legislation-plea-is-a-bogus-excuse-for-inaction,-say-unions#.WWXIVumQw2w

http://thenational.scot/business/15398253.Deliveroo_calls_for_work_law_changes/

On Jason’s appearance at the Resolution Foundation:

http://www.recruiter.co.uk/news/2017/07/resolution-foundation-sets-out-its-nmw-proposal

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who was running around town the last few days, going from television channel to television channel, from radio to radio!

Joint statement from Senate House Unison and UCU — June 23, 2017

Joint statement from Senate House Unison and UCU

Thanks to everyone who came out in support of the security officers and the SOAS Justice 4 Workers campaign yesterday! The Senate House Unison and UCU branches have issued the following statement:

Joint statement from Unison and UCU Senate House branches

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 08:16 AM PDT

We note with concern the ongoing dispute between Cordant and its security staff.  As always, Unison and UCU’s long held position is to strongly oppose the outsourcing of workers in all circumstances.  We are formally approaching the University to re-visit the issue of outsourcing with the aim of returning all staff in house.

You can read more on the UCU blog.

Reminder: Security Officers’ strike TOMORROW — June 21, 2017

Reminder: Security Officers’ strike TOMORROW

UoL security officers back on strike tomorrow and joining forces with SOAS outsourced workers campaign

  • University of London security officers to protest together with SOAS Justice for Workers tomorrow afternoon. The Justice for Workers campaign has been occupying SOAS since last week.
  • Freedom of Information request reveals University is monitoring IWGB’s twitter account.
  • IWGB has balloted University of London post room workers and porters over pay, and expects to announce joint strike dates shortly.

21 June: University of London security officers will go back on strike tomorrow (22 June), just after it was revealed that the university spends resources monitoring the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) social media accounts.

The security officers continue to demand that the University and contractor Cordant Services implement a 25% pay rise promised six years ago.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the IWGB and answered yesterday reveals that the university has been monitoring the union’s twitter accounts.

One email sent from a communications officer to other university employees reads:

You’re probably monitoring IWGB’s account as well but thought I’d update you on the latest tweets

IWGB University of London Branch Secretary Danny Millum has said about the revelations: “The university has used every loophole to try and hide the truth about its handling of this dispute, but what is even more shocking is that the university would rather spend resources monitoring the IWGB’s social media than paying its workers properly.”

Security officers will be striking from midnight tonight. A picket line and protest will be held outside Senate House from midday onwards. The protest will combine forces with the SOAS Justice for Workers campaign, some of whom have been occupying the university since last week, as they demand that outsourced cleaners be brought in-house.

The schedule is as follows:

12:00 Picket in front of Senate House
13:30 – 15:00 Tour of the halls to greet new residents checking in
15:00 Picket returns to Senate House
16:30 Picket heads to SOAS to join with SOAS Justice for Workers demo
17:30-19:00 Joint demonstration in the Cloisters of Senate House

The IWGB is also balloting University of London post room workers and porters over similar issues to those raised by security officers, including broken pay rise promises, and expects to announce joint strike dates soon.

A crowdfund has been set up to raise funds for the striking security officers, who are sacrificing their salary during the industrial action.

The latest news and updates on the strike can be followed on this Facebook page.

For more information:

Emiliano Mellino, Press officer (press@iwgb.co.uk)

Under-staffing by Cordant on the UoL contract — June 19, 2017

Under-staffing by Cordant on the UoL contract

Danny has written to the University of London to inform them of issues around understaffing on the Cordant security contract.

Dear Ghaz

I am writing to inform you of a series of issues that security officers have raised with us, which we believe indicate that Cordant may be failing to fulfil its contract with the University.

These issues relate to understaffing on the contract, and the apparent failure of Cordant to supply the hours promised to the client.

Staff have provided numerous instances where cover has not been provided, most notably when staff have been off sick or on annual leave, meaning that shifts have to be covered by existing staff. The consequence of this has been that:

  • There has been no break cover officer on numerous occasions.
  • Staff have been taken off Senate and Stewart House reception (where the UoL is paying to have two staff on duty) and used to cover elsewhere.
  • Patrol officers have been used to cover the Halls and Institutes, meaning that on numerous occasions there has only been one patrol officer on duty instead of two.
  • Staff at short notice are moved from their designated shifts and roles to other locations for ‘operational reasons’.

While occasional instances of short-staffing are inevitable, this has happened so frequently that it indicates systemic shortcomings and an under-resourcing of the contract.

Security officers whose pay differentials have been massively eroded and whose desire for talks on pay have been ignored are essentially being asked to cover for the inadequacies of Cordant in running this contract – something which seems to them to be doubly unfair, and which should not be tolerated by the University.

Can you confirm that you will investigate this as a matter of urgency?

Best wishes

Danny Millum

Branch Secretary

University of London IWGB

Unworkable Episode 2! — June 12, 2017

Unworkable Episode 2!

Your Boss Is Watching You!

surveillanceiStock_000047415498_Large.jpg

In its second episode “Unworkable” looks into surveillance in the workplace, from the powers that employers currently hold to the ways in which technology is making this monitoring much easier and all-pervasive. We talk to Uber and Deliveroo riders, as well as experts and researchers. Interviewees include Corinna Ferguson, a Barrister at Old Square Chambers, Privacy International policy officer Frederike Kaltheuner and Dr Phoebe Moore of Middlesex University.

Hosted and produced by Emiliano Mellino for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB).