PICKETING City cleaners vowed to go on hunger strike and “fight to the ultimate consequences” yesterday if their calls for a living wage and sackings to stop go unheeded.
Cleaners contracted to work at the building that plays host to financial mammoth JP Morgan’s HQ staged a vibrant protest during the first day of their indefinite walkout.
The United Voices of the World (UVW) union members threatened to keep up their picket of 100 Wood Street until they were dragged away.
UVW spokesman Vitor Ramirez told the Star that they felt, as Latin Americans, to be the most exploited of the City workers.
“This is a cause not just for us but for all the people who live in Britain,” said the Ecuadorian. “We all have to eat, we all have the right to a dignified life and a dignified pay.
“We are in a capital that people tell us is in the First World but I think it’s from the fourth.”
Over half of Mr Ramirez’s colleagues were sacked in April when Thames Cleaning took over the contract at 100 Wood Street.
Despite blaming the building managers for the failure to pay the £9.40 an hour London living wage, Thames went to court to impose a 10-metre exclusion zone on protests outside the building.
But Mr Ramirez said the measure would not deter strikers: “We are in the heart of London here and we’ve had the support of other colleagues who work at other companies, Thames Cleaning and Mitie.
“They told us they would support us to the final consequences. If this problem isn’t solved we will go on hunger strike. “Two people, until our demands are heard.”