The Kinsley 3 and around 40 of their supporters protested outside C&D Cleaning Services offices in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, on Monday.
They are three Unison union members on all-out strike against bosses’ decision to slash their pay from £7.85 to £7.20 an hour.
The three cleaners work in Kinsley Academy, a primary school that’s part of the Wakefield City Academies Trust chain.
Wakefield Council privatised them in April.
One of them told Socialist Worker, “We came out on strike because we had just had enough.
“I was I was employed by Wakefield Council for years and never had to get in touch with my employer.
“But in the five months I’ve been employed by C&D, I was never off the phone to human resources
She added, “They always fobbed us off. We’re paying pension contributions, but we can’t find out whether our employer is paying anything.
“We’ve been messed about with holidays and had our sick pay cut.”
The Kinsley 3 spoke at Barnsley trades council last week and received a £170 donation. Brain Steele, Barnsley trades council secretary, said, “They all deserve the full backing of the trade union movement in standing up to such unscrupulous employers. In my time as a trade union activist, I have never heard such horror stories about how individuals are treated at work.”
Earlier in the week they also received £150 from Huddersfield trades council.
Another of the Kinsley 3 told Socialist Worker, “There are encouraging signs that C&D may be backing down. They are now claiming that they did not know we were entitled to £7.85 an hour and will reinstate it with back pay.
“If they do that, that’s good. But we want our pensions and sick pay sorted out—and union recognition as well.” There are plans to step up picketing at the school now.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle