OUTSOURCED workers at the University of London have had to fight for years just to keep their jobs, a union leader told fellow strikers yesterday.
Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) president Henry Chango Lopez made a speech as a banner was unfurled outside the college’s Senate House, reading: “We exploit workers.”
Mr Chango Lopez, who works as a porter at the university, is leading a strike for better pay.
Since 2011, workers have been fighting against unequal pay, the cutting of hours and “many other things that without the unity, strength and the backing of our union would have made us vulnerable to exploitation,” he said.
The IWGB is also demanding the university make all its outsourced workers — including cleaners, porters, security officers and receptionists — direct employees, and scrap zero-hours contracts.
He told the crowd: “We, the outsourced workers, are no longer prepared to be treated as second-class workers any more. We have had enough of this treatment of discrimination and so we are here to finish outsourcing at the University of London for once and for all.”
Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley joined the striking workers.
Student campaigners on behalf of cleaners at the university’s sister college the School of Oriental and African Studies had been calling for jobs to be brought in-house since 2006.
Last month, they received a letter from university management which stated it would begin doing so from this autumn.