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Cleaners at the University of East London announce public protest

CLEANERS at the University of East London (UEL) will stage a protest next week as part of their #CleanersDemandEquality campaign for improved working conditions.  

The workers, represented by the Cleaners and Allied Independent Union (CAIWU), confirmed today that the event will take place at UEL’s Docklands campus on April 13.

They have accused outsourcing firm Nviro of victimisation, favouritism, poor working conditions and “unscrupulous management practices.”

Numerous claims of workplace negligence have also been reported to the CAIWU, including “dangerously inadequate” personal protective equipment and unsafe measures for the handling of clinical waste. 

UEL students’ #SaveUEL campaign has publicly declared its support for the protest and said it stands in solidarity with the key workers. 

A CAIWU statement said: “UEL management and board members who claim to [back] equality have consistently refused to stand by the predominately black, Asian and minority ethnic essential workers who have risked their lives to keep the university running. 

“We demand that UEL cut ties with Nviro and bring all outsourced essential workers in-house.”

A UEL spokesperson said: "UEL is ranked 1st in the UK (and 2nd globally) for reducing inequalities (Times Higher Global Impact Rankings, 2020) and its commitment to an inclusive working environment and the highest of employment standards is recognised nationally.

"As the current cleaning contract with NViro is coming to an end later this year, UEL is working closely with Unison, one of three recognised unions at the University, to review all options going forward, ensuring the recognition of our extended workforce is at the centre of decision-making.

"Our priority is to work constructively with our external contractors to come to a reasonable conclusion."


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