John Lewis cleaners' win

Outsourced John Lewis cleaners have won an immediate and backdated 9% pay rise following their pledge of industrial action. The increase, backdated five months, takes their pay to £6.72 per hour at three central London sites, and £6.50 at one outer London site. Supervisors will now get £8.00 per hour and £7.84 respectively.

The cleaners notified their employer, ICM, last week of the trade dispute and impending ballot for industrial action. This ballot could have seen visible and noisy industrial action by cleaners at four John Lewis sites in London in the run up to Christmas.

John Lewis has seen pre-Christmas profits increase on last year already. The company are proud of their partnership structure, where all staff are “partners” who share in the company’s profits.

But John Lewis’ cleaning contract is outsourced to MML, who outsource it again to ICM. The cleaners have seen their hours reduce and workload increase, while they were paid minimum wage of £6.19 – and they don’t share in the profits.

This increase, including a backdated lump sum just before Christmas, will make a real difference to our members’ lives. ICM further pledged to look at the potential to pay a Living Wage of £8.55 as they enter contract talks early in 2013.

IWW National Secretary Frank Syratt said: “It is our members’ unity, solidarity and courageous stance that has won this increase. They are an inspiration and a lesson to other workers. There is still work to do. John Lewis needs to ensure all their workers – whether partners or outsourced - take home a Living Wage of £8.55 and receive full sick pay, lifting them out of poverty and insecurity. IWW pledges to continue organising and campaigning to make this happen”.

Industrial Workers of the World