Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/572/7099
City of London
Fighting for justice for cleaners!
Cleaners employed by contractors Mitie protested outside the Willis building in the City of London, photo Chris Newby
Cleaners employed by contractors Mitie protested outside the Willis building in the City of London on 20 March. Mitie have the contract to clean the Willis building, the headquarters of a global insurance broker.
The cleaners are all members of Unite and are part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign. After a long battle, these workers won a pay increase from £5.73 to £7.20 an hour.
But Mitie changed their shifts from a part-time evening to a full time night shift, which many workers with family responsibilities cannot manage. Also key union activists have been sacked in a "restructuring" exercise.
Cleaners employed by contractors Mitie protest, photo Chris Newby
Alberto, a cleaner at another City building came to support the workers on the protest. He told The Socialist: "In my own site 30 of us fought for the living wage. The company tried to do the same to us. They want to make the shifts longer and get rid of some workers. But we stuck together and we are fighting back. They want to dismiss shop stewards at lots of different sites. They want to destroy our campaign.
"But we are trying to send a message to all workers that if we stand together we can win."
In The Socialist 25 March 2009:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news