University workers plan next steps

Submitted by AWL on 1 July, 2014 - 3:05

Despite five days of strikes in June, the University of London has continued with its plan to close the Garden Halls of residence, with the loss of around 80 jobs.

The halls closed on 30 June, and many of the former Garden Halls workers are now on temporary summer contracts at other university sites until mid-September.

The University of London Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) branch is now considering its next steps. These include investigating the possibility of an industrial tribunal claim, following allegations that IWGB activists were discriminated against for their union activities when it came to filling permanent positions on University contracts.

As Solidarity has previously reported, the Cleaning Services Manager who oversaw the job losses at the halls is also a rep for Unison at the site, now a minority union amongst outsourced staff. Unison activists should highlight this scandal and demand accountability from the Unison Senate House Branch and Greater London Region.

Despite the loss of the Garden Halls jobs, the IWGB is continuing to recruit in new areas at the University and now represents around 211 members.

IWGB President Jason Moyer-Lee told Solidarity: “The rapid growth of new members of the IWGB University of London branch goes to show that people want to join a fighting union, a union which defends workers’ rights, and a union which cares more about its members than about cosy relations with the employer.”

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