On Thursday the 4th of July a decision will be made on whether the cleaning staff at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London will become directly employed by the university itself. They have dubbed this day “SOAS Cleaners’ Independence Day”.
The campaign defends the labour rights of the SOAS cleaning staff, who are subcontracted by ISS Facility Services.
According to Escudero and other members of the campaign, ISS does not respect the labour rights of their workers who, often, as well as being undervalued, are also treated like second-class workers and are harassed, intimidated and bullied.
Furthermore, if the employees show themselves to be in disagreement with company policy, it can lead to them losing their jobs.
Because of the current situation, the movement aims to put an end to the vulnerable position of these workers, who want ISS Facility Services to stop providing cleaning services for SOAS and who want to be directly employed by the university.
The demands of the “Justice for Cleaners” campaign include equal sick pay, holiday pay and pension rights for the cleaning staff, to be in line with the benefits of other members of the university staff.
Although this fight to defend the rights of workers in the cleaning sector began in 2001 with the London Living Wage Campaign, there are still many cases of unfair treatment in the workplace.
The last board meeting of the School of Oriental and African Studies will take place on the 4th of July, where a decision will be taken on the future of cleaning contracts for Lenin Escudero and his co-workers.
Date: Thursday 4th of July, Time: 12:30. Place: The School of Oriental and African Studies, The University of London.
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(Translated by Jane Martin – www.sunflowertranslation.com)