London University Workers Protest

Workers at the University of London protest outside Senate House while University of London Chancellor Princess Anne was visiting on Foundation Day, calling for all workers in the university to be directly employed by the university. People attending the event had to walk past a noisy crowd, though Princess Anne was sneaked in through another entrance.

They call on the university to play fair by the workers whose services are vital in keeping the university working rather than abandon them to the poor conditions and bad management of companies who get contracts as the lowest bidders. They underpay and overwork staff, often fail to supply proper equipment and materials to do the job, and bullying the staff who are generally employed on the statutory minimum legal conditions, far inferior to those offered by any responsible employer, often on zero hours contracts. Staff doing similar jobs directly employed by the university get much better treatment with proper contracts and far superior conditions of service.

The university sets the contracts and could insist on proper conditions and pay, but generally seems to disclaim any responsibility for these staff, though as a result of the continued campaign has stated it is considering direct employment for some of these workers. But both London university and Cordant who employ the security staff refuse to recognise the IWGB or have proper talks with them.

Security workers belonging to the IWGB (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) were on the latest of a series of one-day strikes, and at the end of the working day their picket was joined by supporters for a noisy protest. People attending the event had to walk past some noisy protesters on their way in, though there was no attempt to stop them.

The pavement outside the main gates to Senate House is poorly lit and except for a small area close to the gates I needed to add some light for most pictures. Because there was quite a lot of movement I used flash rather than the LED light source.

There were some large differences in colour temperature between the street lighting, the floodlighting on Senate House, the temporary lighting around the security entrance and my flash, with the occasional flashing blue from a police car adding to the palette.

For some pictures I’ve used Lightroom to selectively change the colour of parts of the images, making local adjustments to temperature and tone, though others I’ve left as they were made. The picture of IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez speaking in front of a floodlit Senate House above needs correction to give a more natural skin tone. Deep yellow sodium street lights and police blue lights are too monochromatic to allow correction.

IWGB protest London Uni outsourcing

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