Around 25 cleaners, including workers from Eurostar and London Underground who have struck over pay in recent weeks, joined other activists at a meeting in central London last week to discuss ongoing disputes, recent victories and future strategies.
All the cleaners stressed the need to continue to build wide support for their campaigns.
Stalin Vermudez, chair of the School of African and Oriental Studies (Soas) Unison union branch, said that he has worked for seven different cleaning companies and has seen many cowboys in the industry.
Others reported that cleaners at Birkbeck College have been inspired by recent action at Soas and have begun to join the union.
Speaking about the recent London Underground cleaners’ dispute Phillip Mambuliya, the chair of the RMT union cleaners’ grade, said that workers were very happy at having won the London Living Wage of £7.45 an hour, but added that there was more to be won.
“Nothing comes to us sitting in our armchair – we have to fight for it,” he said.
A worker from Eurostar spoke about the recent cleaners’ strike for the London Living Wage and the solidarity received from other workers.
RMT reps for the Eurostar cleaners are currently in talks with management. Some 74 engineers in the RMT union are facing disciplinary action for refusing to cross the cleaners’ picket line last month.
The union is meeting this week to discuss its response.