A bunch of cleaners at a prestigious Catholic ladies college in South London have slammed their employer over their claims of ‘poverty wages’ and ‘institutional racism’.
The cleaners are happening strike over sick pay, well being and security issues, and alleged ‘wage theft’.
The cleaners at La Retraite Roman Catholic Ladies’ College in Clapham are getting ready to strike for ’40 days and 40 nights’ ranging from March 16.
The dispute is linked to the cleaners’ roles being outsourced by the varsity to cleansing firm Ecocleen which leaves them with out the identical working phrases as direct staff of the varsity.
Below the employment of Ecocleen, the cleaners solely get statutory sick pay of about £95 per week, whereas different staff on the college get full sick pay.
Roberto, one of many cleaners at La Retraite, stated: “After we get sick – both with COVID-19 or one thing else – we merely can’t afford to take sick depart.
“If we do, we’ll lose our wages, and as we already stay on the breadline each penny we lose dangers leaving us unable to purchase meals or pay for lease.”
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The cleaners have complained about well being and security assessments on the college and refused to work for 4 weeks till a threat evaluation was taken out.
They declare Ecocleen stored their wages for that month, in what has been described as ‘wage theft’.
The union representing the cleaners, United Voices of the World (UVW) stated that some cleaners had been pressured to take out loans and survive on meals banks because of this.
Magalay Quesda, a migrant from Cuba who works on the college along with her husband who additionally plans to strike, stated: “It was by no means our intention to go on strike, however I consider that our calls for are honest and that anybody with just a little empathy can perceive the place we’re coming from.
“They’ve left us no selection. They received’t take heed to us, they received’t discuss to us, and so they received’t deal with us pretty so what different selection do now we have than to strike if we wish to be heard?”
Petros Elia, UVW organiser stated: “As all of the cleaners are BAME and/or migrant employees, while nearly all of La Retraite workers are White, this double customary in pay and phrases and situations, which has no justification aside from value, breaches the Equality Act and La Retraite’s Public Sector Equality Responsibility.
“It’s institutional racism in our view. So in addition to supporting our members to strike for 40 days and 40 nights and as lengthy it takes past that to make sure they’re handled as justly and as equals, we will even be bringing authorized proceedings.”
A spokesperson for Ecocleen stated: “We’re absolutely dedicated to safeguarding the well being and security of all of our employees throughout each one in all our websites through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Because the begin of the pandemic, now we have undertaken the required COVID-19 threat evaluation in keeping with the UK Authorities tips all through the enterprise, together with at La Retraite.
“We will additionally affirm that, for the reason that begin of the pandemic, Ecocleen has supplied PPE gear to all of our cleaners throughout all of our websites, to make sure the secure working practices of all of our valued staff.”
MyLondon has approached La Retraite Roman Catholic Ladies’ College for remark.
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