Industrial news thumbnail reports

Submitted by Zac Muddle on 20 November, 2019 - 12:41 Author: Ollie Moore
A placard reads "St Mary's Hospital Workers Strike for Equality. UVW"

UCL, LouLou’s, St Mary’s

Outsourced workers at University College London struck on 19 November, after voting for industrial action by a 98% majority.

The workers, who include cleaners, porters, and security guards, are members of the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), and are striking to demand equality with directly-employed staff.

IWGB members at “LouLou’s”, the exclusive celebrity members’ club in Mayfair, have also voted to strike. Their threat of industrial action has already secured two of their three demands – the reversal of outsourcing and the London living wage. Workers are continuing to fight for full company sick pay.

“LouLou’s” is owned by the ultra-rich aristocrat Robin Birley, a prominent donor to numerous right-wing political causes including Ukip and Boris Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign.

Outsourced hospital workers in the United Voices of the World (UVW) union at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, struck for a sixth day on 13 November, demanding living wages and direct employment.

Anti-union laws stop cleaners strike

Outsourced cleaners on London Underground have voted 98% in favour of strike action in a ballot closing on 19 November. But the turnout, at 48%, was just below the 50% demanded by the Tory Trade Union Act 2016, so they can’t take lawful strike action.

The workers, who are members of the RMT union are aiming to win staff travel passes, company sick pay, and improved pension arrangements. It is disappointing not to make it over the line, but the campaign is not over!

Despite working at the same locations every day, in as permanent a way as directly-employed LU staff, outsourced cleaners have dramatically worse terms and conditions.

McDonald’s workers struck

McDonald’s workers at six stores across London struck on 12 November, demanding £15/hour, union recognition, and an increase in guaranteed hours. The strike was part of a global day of action coordinated by the IUF, a global federation of unions organising food workers to which the BFAWU, which organises McDonald’s workers in Britain, is affiliated. Labour candidates Marsha de Cordova, Keir Starmer and Bell Ribeiro-Addy joined the protest.

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