We are calling for justice for the cleaners who work at the Société Générale offices in London who are being driven further into poverty by cuts.
Société Générale is a very large European bank and a major financial services company. Its cleaners do not share in salary and benefits of the bank employees and executives. Cleaners are hired through a contractor – Initial Facilities.
The cleaners were earning poverty wages, they were finally awarded the London Living Wage of £8.30 per-hour on 3 September 2012.
However, the cleaners have been given a pay rise by one hand and a pay cut with the other hand. The majority of cleaners were working from Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, eight hours per day. Société Générale and their contractor agreed to cut the cleaners working hours by 50%. This is making them even poorer than before. It is making a mockery of the Living Wage!
This cut was imposed on 24 September. Now, in four hours the cleaners are expected to do all the work previously done in eight hours.
The cleaners, who are in the independent workers' union IWGB, have been protesting outside the bank. They have received support from members of RMT, PCS, UNISON, NUT, UCU, and other workers and students.
In response many cleaners involved have been suspended!
Société Générale's UK charity arm declares they intend to "promote social inclusion". They say they are "working to tackle any kind of disadvantage suffered by individuals or groups." What about the cleaners in their own offices? For them, charity does not begin at home!
· Between 21 – 25 September nearly all the remaining cleaners protesting these cuts were suspended.
· Bosses have tried to frighten the cleaners from continuing their opposition to these cuts.
· A whole shift of non-union cleaners has been brought into their workplace.
These low paid workers have stood firm against the odds. They are calling for you to stand with them to achieve:
· The London Living Wage without strings!
· No cuts in hours – no victimisations!