Socialist Worker

The Soas raid and the mystery of the missing employer

Issue No. 2156

The immigration raid at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) has raised many questions. But there is one you might have expected would have a clear answer – who employed the cleaners?

They were under the impression that they were working for ISS Facility Services.

The Living Wage campaign at the college records that ISS Facility Services took over the cleaning contract from Ocean Contract Cleaning last summer. ISS then began negotiating a union recognition agreement with the Unison union on behalf of all workers covered by the Soas cleaning contract.

ISS signed this agreement last week.

Odd then that Craig Smith, head of communications at ISS, this week told Socialist Worker that the Soas cleaners had not been employed by ISS prior to Friday’s raid.

“ISS called cleaners at Soas to a meeting on Friday of last week because we were taking over a contract from another company and we had to explain the terms of the new contract,” he said.

“The workers were not employed by ISS prior to this meeting.”

However, the press office at Soas disagrees. They told Socialist Worker that ISS had employed the cleaners prior to Friday.

And Ocean Contract Cleaning confirmed that its own contract to employ the cleaners ended on 30 September 2008.

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