A May Day to remember: security staff brought in house TODAY in second victory for workers’ campaign! — May 1, 2020

A May Day to remember: security staff brought in house TODAY in second victory for workers’ campaign!

All remaining Security Officers on the University of London contract have been brought in-house today, following a vibrant and relentless campaign that led to the in-sourcing of their reception-based colleagues last year. 

This is a huge VICTORY for the workers’ campaign and gives many families cause for celebration today!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of IWGB’s branch organiser Jordi Lopez the workers have also won all of their individual cases relating to the transfer. All IWGB members will now transfer on contracts that accurately represent their hours of work.   

Demonstrating the struggle these workers have faced in being passed from company to company and mistreated over the years, one officer brought in-house today said: “At long last the UOL Security staff are free.”

Khurram and Jhonny wearing their brand new University of London uniforms

This transfer ensures important material gains for every member of staff: now that the University isn’t squandering money on creating profits for outsourcing firms, the workers will receive a pay rise, enhanced annual leave and dignified pensions, bringing them into line with other directly-employed staff at the University of London. 

“These rights should have never been denied to outsourced workers,” says Jordi. “We are so happy to have helped these workers achieve their victory. But the job is not done!

Cleaners are waiting to go In-House in November, with no date given yet. In the meantime, they remain employed by ruthless subcontractors who during the current crisis are withholding wages from dozens of them. There is still a lot of work to do.”

In challenging times for precarious workers, we hope that this victory will bring hope and shows other outsourced workers the path to follow: a path of determination, boldness, unity and solidarity.

Congratulations to Security Officers for winning their struggle! Hasta la victoria siempre!

Your union needs YOU! IWGB calls for volunteers — April 4, 2020

Your union needs YOU! IWGB calls for volunteers

✊ CALLING ALL IWGB MEMBERS, VOLUNTEERS & ACTIVISTS ✊

Want to get involved and help but not sure how? IWGB is mobilising volunteers to help the union’s members at this unprecedented time. All sorts of skills are needed, so sign up, come along to the zoom calls and see what you can do!

Join us on our weekly volunteer calls where we hear from volunteer activists, branch updates from the frontline of the crisis, and a weekly guest speaker. This week we have the brilliant Nadia Whittome MP.

Open to all – so GET INVOLVED and sign up below! It is only through powerful trade unions that we can deal with this crisis and build a better world 💪

We have launched a **MASS MOBILISATION OF VOLUNTEERS** in response to COVID-19. Our members are on the sharp edge of this crisis and urgently need your assistance.

If you think you can help, sign up today: https://airtable.com/shrFEzgqh73oBHIjo   

Support IWGB member in court TODAY! — January 13, 2020

Support IWGB member in court TODAY!

IWGB makes call for solidarity and defence of free assembly as Chair of United Private Hire Drivers’ Branch faces charges over use of a megaphone

In a case which could have chilling effects on the right to peaceful protest in the UK, the Chair of one of IWGB’s branches, UPHD, faces a criminal charge of ‘assaulting’ two police officers, allegedly having hurt their ears by using a megaphone at a protest.

IWGB’s Executive Committee (EC) has committed £15,000 to support legal costs for the case, following a unanimous vote of support in 2019.

IWGB is now calling on the public to donate to the crowdfund that has been set up in the last few days to find the remainder of the higher-than-expected legal costs. Please see further details of how to donate at:

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/defend-trade-unionists/

Further details of this shocking case can be found below, in a shortened/amended version of a motion of solidarity passed by the IWGB EC over the weekend.

IWGB wishes James all the best at court today and stands with him in the fight for justice!

Motion

IWGB stands in solidarity with James Farrar in his criminal trial for actions that took place while he was undertaking legitimate Trade Union activities. The IWGB Executive Committee (EC) backs James 100%.

We understand that this is a very difficult and personally distressing time for James Farrar and his family and wish to do all we can to support him. This union also notes that this is a case of critical importance for campaign groups, activists and unions across the UK.

In a unanimous motion of support from the EC, IWGB has already allocated £15,000 of central union funds to support the case at trial. A barrister has been retained to represent him, supported by a reputable firm of solicitors that were found by IWGB. IWGB officials and staff plan to attend court en masse in support of their union colleague and fellow activist.

The situation has arisen that the legal costs for this case were underestimated due to (i) a misunderstanding re the legal fees, (ii) the advice that a QC should be retained in addition to the current representation, and (iii) the fact that the case will run for longer than thought. James Farrar therefore stands in need of additional money to support the case at trial for the full four days. The total cost is estimated at around £21,000.*

Background

Whilst organising a UPHD-branch protest on 4 March 2019, UPHD-Branch Chair James Farrar used a megaphone to rally supporters and make statements on behalf of the protest, as is common at IWGB protest events.

Around this time, he made a formal complaint about police behaviour during the demonstration.

Several weeks later, he was himself accused of ‘assaulting’ two police officers by using the megaphone (it is alleged that the noise hurt the officers’ ears). James is now facing a criminal charge and may be imprisoned for up to a year if he loses the case.

The IWGB Executive Committee (EC) has previously passed a motion, with unanimous support, which gave James Farrar IWGB’s full support in fighting a case which has the effect of intimidating him and others in IWGB and the wider Trade Union/activist movement from making legitimate, peaceful protests. It is vital that we support his case as strongly as we are able, and that others do likewise.

* Since this motion was passed, it appears the this figure may be inaccurate and may, in fact, be higher. See the crowdfund page for further details.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/defend-trade-unionists/ 

University of London staff call for equal rights on annual leave — September 12, 2019
Academics urged to support Senate House boycott over treatment of staff — September 3, 2019
Union branch seeks BAME officer — August 19, 2019

Union branch seeks BAME officer

We have a vacancy for the position of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Officer! The previous incumbent, David Kalanzi, is now working part-time for the IWGB as a case officer (congrats David) and so we need a volunteer or volunteers to take this on! The only requirement is that you be from a BAME background and be keen to defend the rights and represent the interests of all our BAME members! If you are interested or have any questions then please drop David a line at davidkalanzi@iwgb.co.uk.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

¡Tenemos una vacante para el puesto de Oficial de Minorías Étnicas (BAME officer)! El titular anterior, David Kalanzi, ahora está trabajando a tiempo parcial para el IWGB como caseworker (felicidades a David), por lo que necesitamos un voluntario o voluntarios para asumir este rol. ¡El único requisito es que sea una minoría étnica y esté dispuesto a defender los derechos y representar los intereses de todos nuestros miembros de minorías étnicas! Si está interesado o tiene alguna pregunta, envíe un mensaje a David a davidkalanzi@iwgb.co.uk.

Richard Gott library sale —
Fundraising party to end exploitation and discrimination at UoL — August 15, 2019

Fundraising party to end exploitation and discrimination at UoL

The IWGB is holding a party on 30 August to raise much need funds to help support its campaign to end the exploitation of, and discrimination against, outsourced workers at the University of London (UoL).

Taking place at Newspeak House, 133 Bethnal Green Road, east London from 7pm-2am, it is set to be a lively, family-friendly affair. There will be music from DJ King Batuka (UoL security officer by day, Afrobeat DJ by night!), Cali Salsa Show with Rita Barberio, Salsa classes, raffle prizes and much more.

Cleaners and porters at UCL’s IoE in mammoth collective grievance — August 5, 2019

Cleaners and porters at UCL’s IoE in mammoth collective grievance

At UCL’s Institute of Education (IoE), workplace representative Carvalho and IWGB organiser Laura represented the building’s over thirty outsourced cleaners and porters in a collective grievance hearing that lasted for around three hours.

At issue were excessive increases in workload, unpaid overtime, lack of opportunities for paid overtime, and the absence of privacy and spaces to eat and get changed.

As a result of the hearing, passionately argued by Carvalho and Laura, management has agreed to conduct an investigation into the workload of each cleaner, porter and supervisor at IoE, including possible breaches of health and safety and racial discrimination regulations.

What’s clear is that conditions at IoE – and indeed across UCL – need to change, and fast. This is being achieved by the solidarity and community developing between these workers and the IWGB, leading to increased confidence to take on and hold to account UCL and outsourcing company Sodexo.

Well done to Carvalho and everyone else who worked together on this case! Hasta la Victoria!