Socialist Worker

More victories for cleaners + Stop attacks on McKenzie + 40,000 balloted in BT + Bin workers’ fight in Doncaster

Issue No. 2730

University of London cleaners have won a long battle

University of London cleaners have won a long battle (Pic: @boycottUoL on Twitter)


Facebook cleaning workers who work for the outsourcing company To Go have won the London living wage off the back of protests.

Workers for To Go joined protests organised by the Caiwu union last month after they were threatened with contracts on worse pay and for fewer hours.

To Go workers have fought a series of battles to get the company to give them a living wage.

They will no longer employed by outsourcer Cordant and will be brought in-house.

  • Around 80 cleaners at the University of London who are members of the IWGB union are celebrating a victory.

This will mean more annual leave, a pay rise and better pensions.

It is the culmination of a long-running campaign in which workers struck and student occupied buildings.

Donate to IWGB fighting fund at bit.ly/3l45OXB


Reject attacks on McKenzie over antisemitism

Unison union assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie has become the latest figure in the labour movement to be accused of stoking antisemitism. 

Labour Against Antisemitism raised a complaint against him and has called on the Labour Party and Unison to intervene and for McKenzie to stand down. 

McKenzie, who is one of the candidates standing in the election for general secretary, is not an antisemite.

He suggested that allegations of antisemitism inside the Labour Party were exaggerated to undermine former leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

Whoever is spreading antisemitism must be held to account. But it is not true that Corbyn oversaw a reign of antisemitism that ran rampant throughout the organisation when he was Labour leader. 

And it’s not antisemitic to call for a single nation where both Israelis and Palestinians can live, as McKenzie alluded to. 

It’s right to keep calling into question the accusations of antisemitism levelled at trade unionists, socialists and those fighting for Palestinian justice. 


40,000 in BT ballot

The CWU union has launched a consultative strike ballot for around 40,000 workers at telecoms giant BT.

BT bosses are pushing ahead with a “restructure” that would sack hundreds—if not thousands—of workers, and assault pay and conditions.

Union leaders want members to vote yes in the ballot—which could be followed by a real vote for strikes. If action goes ahead, it would be the first national strike in BT since 1994.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said, “This is the most important vote our members have ever been asked to cast since joining the company.

“After decades of industrial stability, we are now seeing BT Group embark on a vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures and attacks on pay, terms and conditions.”


Dust up in Doncaster

Bin workers in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, could be heading for strikes during the Christmas period.

Unite union members are angry over allegations of “bullying and harassment” by managers at outsourcer Suez.

The union says it includes the “suspension of Unite representative Damien Nota who has suffered continual harassment”.

His suspension, says the union, came “after managers furtively trawled through historical CCTV footage to attempt to build a case against him”.

Meanwhile, Unite bin workers in Thanet, Kent, have voted by a show of hands to move towards industrial action over pay.

The Tory-run council has proposed slashing workers’ wages by between £2,000 and £3,500 a year.


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