This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
OUTSOURCED cleaners at a south London school have voted to take “40 days and 40 nights” of industrial action against precarious wages and withheld pay, the United Voices of the World (UVW) said today.
The strike, which UVW says will be the longest school cleaners’ strike in British history, will see staff at La Retraite Roman Catholic girls’ school walk out from March 16 over a lack of parity in terms and conditions with teachers, including sick pay.
The workers, all of whom are Latin American migrants, are also seeking repayment of withheld wages via an urgent application for an injunction against contractor Ecocleen.
According to UVW, Ecocleen deducted an entire month’s wages from some of the cleaners after they refused to work until Covid-19 risk assessments had been carried out.
In what their union calls a “cruel, vindictive and unlawful punishment,” wages were withheld, forcing some of the cleaners to look to loans and food banks to survive.
Roberto, a cleaner at the school, said: “If we go off sick, we’ll lose our wages, and as we already live on the breadline, every penny we lose risks leaving us unable to buy food or pay for rent.
“If teachers get it, then why can’t cleaners?”
UVW organiser Petros Elia said members would be supported as “long it takes to ensure they are treated justly and as equals.”
An Ecocleen spokesperson said: “We are fully committed to safeguarding the health and safety of all of our workers.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have undertaken the necessary Covid-19 risk assessments in line with government guidelines.
“We recognise our employees’ right to go on strike and will remain in close dialogue and consultation with them.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.