Workers protest Univ of London hypocrisy

While the University of London holds events in favour of women’s rights in its #LeadingWomen season which aims ‘to break down the barriers women still face in education and the workplace today’, it is still denying decent terms & conditions to migrant and BAME women who work there, by using outsourcing companies which offer minimal rights, often with bullying management and zero hours contracts.

The IWGB union which represents low paid workers in the University’s central administration decided to hold a protest on the night one of these events was taking place, and contacted the two women who had agreed to speak, explaining the situation to them. Ayesha Hazarika and Catherine Mayer cancelled their appearances at the #leadingwomen event and instead came to speak at the protest. The university had to call off its event.

Other ‘Leading Women’ who spoke at the meeting included Mildred Simpson, who led the succesful LSE campaign by the United Voices of the World union to be brought in-house, and Newham Cllr Belgica Guania, the first Ecuadorian councillor in the UK.

The university fails to recognise the IWGB which a majority of the low-paid workers belong to, but has been forced to respond to their demands by a series of high-profile protests and strikes. It has now agreed in principle to bring these employees, currently employed by cost-cutting cleaning contracting firms back into direct employment by the university, but is refusing to engage with them on when and how this might happen.

The dispute is not only about conditions of service – sick pay, holiday pay, pensions, maternity pay – but also about having a management which respects the dignity of the workers and is also concerned with getting a good quality of service rather than cutting corners and overworking staff to cut costs. Often workers have to accept bullying and unsafe working practices and a failure to provide proper equipment by contractors to keep their jobs.

UoL #LeadingWomen protest hypocrisy


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.