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UCL Outsourced Workers - Strike Hardship Fund

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Cleaners, porters and security officers at University College London (UCL) are fighting for equality.

UCL's outsourced workers have got organised and are determined to fight to end the scourge of outsourcing and to win justice, equality and dignity for all workers at UCL.

What are we fighting for?
- For Decent Terms and Conditions
- For an end to Discrimination & Routine Mismanagement
- For an end to Precarity
- For an end to outsourcing

We are part of the UCL community and we deserve to be treated equally with the rest of the workforce. It is time for UCL to End Outsourcing and bring us in-house on equal terms and conditions to other university staff.

UCL is one of the richest universities in the world, but they treat us like a second class workforce to cut costs. For years UCL management have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of their outsourced workforce and ignored us when we raised complaints.

This is why hundreds of outsourced cleaners, porters and security officers have united in the IWGB union and launched a campaign to demand UCL act now to End Outsourcing.

But after launching our campaign, UCL are still refusing to talk with us or commit to serious changes. So we are left with no alternative but to go on strike. If UCL refuse to treat us with even the most basic respect of coming to the table and listening to our demands, then we have no option but to take action.

Nearly 300 outsourced workers at UCL have been balloted, and we have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike.

We have notified UCL and their exploitative subcontractors Axis and Sodexo that our first strike will take place on Tuesday 19th November for 24 hours. And we will not hesitate to take further strike action until they come to the table and meet our demands.

We make UCL run smoothly every day and we will show the university management that the university cannot function without our hard work.

This is not an easy step for us to take. We all work on low pay at UCL and most of us can barely afford to take this action and not go to work. But we feel we must do it. We will not be ignored any longer.

We have to fight or they will continue to ignore us.

That's why we are asking for your support.

Please donate to our strike hardship fund
to support all 300 of us to take part in this strike and win. 

We need everyone to be able to take part in the strike - especially those who might not be able to afford to take this time off work. It is only through everyone taking part that our strike will be effective. And for that we need to be able to offer strike pay to help make up for some of the lost earnings of those workers who need it most.

All money raised will be used to support outsourced workers at UCL to strike and campaign for an end to outsourcing.

What exactly are we fighting for:

For Decent Terms and Conditions - Outsourced workers at UCL suffer from far worse terms and conditions than our colleagues who are directly employed by UCL. We receive no occupational sick pay, meaning we are forced to work while sick in order to get by. We receive significantly lower pay. And our small pensions mean we do backbreaking work into old age and retire into poverty. UCL is one of the richest universities in the country, yet they treat us as a second class workforce to cut costs.

For an end to Discrimination & Routine Mismanagement - The vast majority of outsourced workers are black, Asian, Latin American or from another ethnic minority group. We make UCL run smoothly every day, yet we continue to be denied the employment rights that other UCL employees take for granted. Outsourced workers routinely face issues of bullying and abuse, for which there is rarely accountability because we are not UCL's problem. We also face routine issues of mismanagement. For instance, since Axis the new security contractor took over at UCL, they have repeatedly failed to pay security staff correctly for our holidays. This is typical of facilities contractors.

For an end to Precarity  - Since the latest cleaning contractor Sodexo took over the contract at UCL, they have introduced Zero Hours contracts for most new cleaners who start working here. Many cleaners who have been here for some time work on short term and short hour contracts. We cannot rely on our jobs and are always worried for the future. 

Please donate to support our campaign to End Outsourcing.

This fight goes beyond UCL:

UCL is one of the richest and most prestigious universities in the country. A victory here will be a major blow for outsourcing across the sector, as it will set a clear example that other universities will be forced to follow.

Our strike will also be the biggest strike by outsourced workers in higher education in UK history on one of the largest campuses. If such a large and spread out workforce can unite together and win, it will set a powerful example for workers all across the country to take action to change their lives.

Please donate to support our campaign to End Outsourcing.

For more information about the campaign check out our Facebook & Twitter or look at our website .


Charlie Macnamara

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