SOAS Justice For Cleaners is led by SOAS cleaning staff, who started the campaign in 2006. In 2008 the campaign won the London Living Wage. Supported by the Students’ Union, and staff unions UNISON and UCU, the campaign for fair and equal pay and conditions has grown. Last year the campaign had a victory, winning its demands for sick pay, holiday pay and pensions, but not the full campaign demands so the fight continues!
The key campaign demand that the cleaners be brought back in-house (employed by SOAS directly rather than by an outsourced company) has not yet been granted. The cleaners suffer victimisation and intimidation on our campus at the hands of the outsourced company, including the targeting of campaign activists and union representatives, and from continual attempts to cut costs by undermining working conditions. These injustices can only be prevented by bringing the cleaners back in-house, ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect.
In 2012 a referendum was held in which 98.2% of participants from the SOAS community voted in favour of the cleaners being brought in-house. We believe that SOAS is currently not practicing the values of equality and social justice that is preached in its classrooms. The cleaners work is crucial to the functioning of SOAS and they are a vital part of the SOAS community, and must be treated as such by the university. One workplace, one workforce, one SOAS community! Keep updated by liking the SOAS Justice For Cleaners facebook page! La Lucha Continua!
Why is the DLT (also known as G2) really called the Lucas Lecture Theatre (LLT)?
In June 2009 SOAS cleaners were called to an ‘emergency meeting’ in this room where they were faced with UK Border Agency officers. Eight cleaners were deported, one of whom, Luzia, was six months pregnant at the time. Lucas is the name of her baby. It is Students’ Union policy (voted on at our Union General Meetings) that this room be called the Lucas Lecture Theatre. In solidarity with our SOAS cleaners, past, present and future, you are invited to refer to this room as the Lucas Lecture Theatre (LLT).