School cleaners' strike wins

Posted in Class Struggle's blog on Tue, 23/03/2021 - 19:21,
La Retraite school

Darren Bedford

Cleaners in the United Voices of the World union (UVW) at La Retraite Catholic girls’ school in south west London have secured a 24% wage increase, full contractual sick pay, and the repayment of withheld wages, just three days into a planned 40-day strike.

The strike, which involved cleaners predominantly from Latin American migrant backgrounds, was due to be the longest school cleaners’ strike in UK history. UVW had also launched a legal action against the school, and outsourced cleaning contractor Ecocleen, alleging unlawful treatment and discrimination.

The school’s headteacher, Dominic Mallin, earns over £110,000 per year. Prior to the victory, striking cleaner Magaly Quesada said: “We’re cleaners, we’re key workers and we’re proud, we will not stop fighting until we are treated with respect, dignity and equality.”

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