Queen Mary University of London post-doc Akshi Singh writes in support of the boycott of Senate House, the administrative centre of the University of London, and calls for solidarity with outsourced workers. “If the people who clean our rooms in our university cannot live with dignity, then our intellectual work is based on exploitation.” Continue reading
Here she reflects on her time at the union and urges members to keep on fighting, “whether it be as part of a campaign, or an individual employee issue – don’t give up! You are in the right place and have the right support so keep pushing until you are able to assert your rights.” Continue reading
In December 2018, a group of city investors wrote to listed firms urging them to pay all employees a living wage, which in London is £10.55 and hour.
Coordinated by the Share Action campaign group, the letter pointed out that “paying the living wage to all staff and contractors is the hallmark of a responsible business.”
What pity that Nurture, the gardening outsourced company contracted to look after the University of London’s (UoL) grounds at Senate House, doesn’t buy into that “responsible business” sentiment.
The living wage is a powerful weapon against poverty. Yet, nearly four months after the London Mayor announced a new London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour (an increase of 35p per hour) some of the staff employed by Nurture are still being paid at the old rate.
Hopefully that will change now that the secretary of the UoL branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has sent the company a gentle reminder (see below).
It has been brought to my attention that some staff employed by Nurture on the University of London contract are being paid below the London Living Wage (LLW) rate of £10.55 an hour.
As you are aware, Nurture is obliged under the terms of its contract to pay the LLW as a minimum.
Can you confirm that this will be corrected with immediate effect, and back-dated to November?
IWGB’s fight against organisations such as the University of London, which continues to trample over the employment rights of its outsourced workers, features on the politics page of the Guardian.
The article, “The tiny union beating the gig economy giants”, describes IWGB’s grassroots fightback that is helping to win basic rights for couriers, cleaners and other workers on zero-hours contracts.
It highlights a range of the union’s successful actions including last month’s Deliveroo case in which 50 couriers won a six-figure payout because they had been denied rights including the legal minimum wage and paid holiday. More important, the article pays particular attention to IWGB’s ongoing ‘back in house campaign’ at the University of London.
Written by Yvonne Roberts, it quotes from Glen Jacques’ letter in which the receptionist warns: “Every pyramid is only as strong as its foundation, and if the foundation is not maintained to a high standard, the pyramid will, in time, collapse.” And it includes profiles of three of the workers who run the union – Mags Dewhurst, part-time bicycle courier and IWGB vice-president; Sarah Anderson, chair of the union’s first foster care workers’ branch; and our president, Henry Chango Lopez.
Read the full Guardian article here.
Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), assesses the significance of Wednesday’s supreme court ruling against Pimlico Plumbers, in which it unanimously held that one of its so-called ‘gig economy’ workers was entitled to employment rights.
Writing in the Guardian, he said “this was a highly awaited decision that has already generated commentary from experts in the field. However, if the question is ‘What did it change?’, the short answer is ‘Not much’. It’s more significant in that it confirms what we already knew to be correct.”
I’m writing to you because together we can end “gig economy” exploitation.
As you know, Deliveroo riders are currently denied basic employment rights most of us take for granted, such as protection from discrimination, paid holidays, pensions, trade union representation and the right to be paid not less than the National Minimum Wage.
Last year we took Deliveroo to court, but lost on a technicality. Now the IWGB is seeking to appeal the judgment via Judicial Review so that riders can win back these basic rights.
To do this, we are crowd-sourcing a fighting fund that will protect the Union against costs throughout the process. We have just launched the fundraiser – and need everyone to chip in!
Will you help?
- Pledge whatever £ you can afford, and,
- Share the link (www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/deliverjustice) online via Facebook, Twitter, email and Whatsapp to your friends, family, members, colleagues and contacts, asking them to do the same – pledge + share!
These are concrete ways to make a difference in challenging times to protect workers everywhere. By helping us in this fight, you make it harder for other employers to copy Deliveroo’s sneaky tactics and protect everyone’s rights across the UK!
We need YOU to help us #DeliverJustice!
Thank you so much,
IWGB Vice President