Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/18740
Pics: 3Cosas strike, London
Press release on 3rd June from Independent Workers of Great Britain
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FIVE DAYS OF STRIKE ACTION OVER JOB LOSSES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON GARDEN HALLS
Members of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) at the University of London have voted 100% in favour of strike action over the loss of more than 80 jobs at the Garden Halls, student halls of residence near King's Cross.
The IWGB has served notice of five days of industrial action against the two main outsourcing companies at the University - Cofely which runs cleaning, portering, security, and maintenance services, and Aramark which employs catering staff.
The strike will begin on Friday 6 June and will continue from Monday 9 June to Thursday 12 June.
The university is set to refurbish its halls from the end of June. The process will last around two years and current workers are at risk of redundancy.
Many of the workers under threat of redundancy have been the most active in the 3 Cosas Campaign for Sick Pay, Holidays and Pensions.
The campaign recently won improved sick pay and holiday pay after a high-profile strike in November 2013.
The IWGB is demanding:
- a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies
- full and meaningful consultation with the IWGB
- the same wage levels, terms and conditions, and length of service for any workers transferred to contracts outside the UoL
The IWGB is building a strike fund to compensate workers taking strike action and is calling on support and solidarity from other trade unions, students' unions and the wider labour movement.
In the run-up to the strike, student activists at the University of London Union (ULU) have occupied Cofely's head offices at Angel in Islington, London, and the company's prestigious contract providing building services at the Shard near London Bridge.
Sonia Chura, a Garden Halls (Cofely) worker and Vice-Chair of the University of London branch of the IWGB said:
"The workers who have been most active in the 3 Cosas campaign are on the verge of losing their jobs.
"This is the fault of Cofely and the University of London who have consistently refused to negotiate with us or to accommodate the workers.
"We're striking in order to continue working. We have been serving the university for many years and this is the thanks we get - being thrown out on the street".
- Full details of the 3 Cosas Campaign can be found on the campaign website: http://3cosascampaign.wordpress.com/about/
- Details of student solidarity actions, including against Cofely's contract at The Shard, can be found on the IWGB UoL branch website: http://iwgb.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/workers-and-students-occupy-cofely-hq-in-the-shard/