Below are the details of the J4C actions that begin in London this week. Thanks to the people who came on Saturday.

The actions are happening because of a few reasons. There are several major cleaning contractors in the City of London. Between them, they clean the majority of floor space in corporations and public sector buildings throughout the City and Canary Wharf.

The overwhelming majority of their workforce consist of migrants from Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. There are many challenges in unionising this workforce , the largest being that many workers are undocumented and risk reprisal from the employer. It is also a very fragmented workforce; there many languages that are spoken, many different shift patterns and small clusters of workers spread throughout the city.

In late 2006/ early 2007 , the TGWU forced several of the major cleaning contractors including ISS, Mitie, Lancaster, & Greencrest to sign a union recognition agreement. After a year of negotiations it became obvious that they would not sign voluntarily. The agreement meant that the cleaning contractor and their clients were committed to:
  • negotiate with the trade union for the pay and conditions of their workforce.
  • allow access on site to trade union organizers and officials to meet with workers during the workers’ paid time.
  • recognize the union shop steward (delegate) on site.
  • implement ‘fairshare’..this means that if the trade union yields a raise and pay and conditions on site, then workers who have not become a member of the trade union must pay a percentage (I think its 80%) in ‘bargaining fees’ to the trade union.

So why are we in dispute with the companies again?

Well…there are still a few contractors in the city who still haven’t signed the agreement at all. They are: Pall Mall, McClellands, & Sodexho. So we need them to sign up.

Then there are the contractors who have signed up but aren’t implementing the agreement properly. The most aggressive of which is ‘Lancaster’ who are dodging the union on access and recognising shop stewards. Lancaster is arguably the most unethical cleaning contractor in London. In mid 2006 Lancaster cleaners at MERRIL LYNCH were told that there were going to a training session off site. They were taken to another location and raided by home office officials..and taken to detention centres.

And then there’s the contractors who still aren’t paying decent wages, sick pay and holiday pay. These include companies who have and have not signed the agreement.

So , as you can see…..we have a lot of work to do before the exit strategy kicks in on this campaign.

Now here is the schedule of demonstrations this week. We are going to start by hitting PALL MALL. At the end of the week we start on LANCASTER .

If you can only come to one demonstration this week please make it the THURSDAY demonstration at 4pm.

Contact Anita on 07900405787


Monday May 12: 4pm 250 Bishopsgate E2
Meet 3.50pm Liverpool St Station.

Tuesday May 13: 12noon 250 Bishopsgate E2
Meet 11.50am Liverpool St Station

Wednesday May 14: 7.30am
Picket: Ethical Corportation: The Responsible Business Summit 2008.
Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel 18 Albert Embankement London SE1 7TJ

Wednesday May 14: 12noon 250 Bishopsgate E2
Meet 11.50am Liverpool St Station

Wednesday May 14: 4pm 250 Bishopsgate E2
Meet 3.50pm Liverpool St Station

Thursday May 15: 12noon 250 Bishopsgate E2
Meet 11.50am Liverpool St Station

Thursday May 15: 4pm 250 Bishopsgate E2
Meet 3.50pm Liverpool St Station

Friday May 16: 12noon
Meet St Pauls Tube – Gresham St Exit – for LANCASTER hit.


Jules said...

Er, 250 BISHOPSGATE are the offices of ABN Amro (only recently bought by RBS) and they use a unionised cleaning firm already (Mowlem).

You actually want the building next door at 210, or the main office opposite at 135 Bishopsgate,
otherwise you will end up looking a bit foolish if you can't even get the right building!