Today, Monday 12th November, the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW) have lodged a fresh pay dispute on behalf of outsourced cleaners at John Lewis. This follows an IWW cleaners strike at John Lewis in Oxford Street earlier in the year – the first strike in John Lewis history.
In the run up to Christmas and January sales, John Lewis can expect to see profits spike, bringing in £millions. Meanwhile, our members working in their buildings are earning minimum wage of just £6.19 p/h.
Budget cuts have seen their workloads increase, leading to stress, sickness and depression. But with no sick pay, they have to carry on regardless. Meanwhile, poverty pay means home life is a daily struggle.
The cleaners, working at four John Lewis sites in South London including the famous Peter Jones store in Sloane Square and the company HQ in Victoria, are not part of John Lewis’ famous ‘partnership’. Instead they are employed by a contractor, Integrated Cleaning Management Ltd. (ICM), part of the giant Compass Group Ltd.
But now these second class workers have had enough.
Following extensive attempts by the workers to improve their situation, their union IWW entered a new pay claim with ICM on 26th October. Clear, realistic and reasonable, not to mention necessary, the pay claim aims at an immediate and backdated increase to £6.72 p/h for cleaners, £8 p/h for supervisors, plus a timetable of discussions aimed at securing full London Living Wage of £8.55 and full sick pay.
ICM have not been able to respond within the agreed 14 day period and therefore IWW have today lodged this fresh trade dispute. If no resolution is forthcoming, IWW and our members are ready and willing to pursue any lawful action available, up to and including lawful industrial action in the run up to Christmas and January sales.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Notes for the editors:
1. IWW is an independent industrial union, organising workers in all industries. Please see www.iww.org.uk for more information.
2. The new London Living Wage rate of £8.55 (£7.45 outside London) was announced last week by Mayor Boris Johnson during Living Wage week hosted by the Living Wage Foundation and KPMG. In the same week it was announced that 5 million workers (1 in 5) in the UK do not earn a Living Wage, the minimum amount necessary to live properly on.
3. IWW cleaner members, employed by ICM and working at John Lewis Oxford Street took strike action in August 2012 demanding a Living Wage and an end to hours cuts. They stopped hours cuts and won an increase from £6.08 p/h to £6.72 p/h.
4. Photographs of the previous strike at Oxford Street are available from Peter Marshall at http://www.demotix.com/users/peter-marshall/profile