PRESS RELEASE: Ground breaking strike shuts down university; protests Royal visit

PRESS RELEASE
Embargoed till 00:01
27/11/2013

3 COSAS CAMPAIGN
Email: 3cosascampaign@gmail.com
Tel: 07771783094 / 07840136728
Twitter: @3cosascampaign
http://3cosas.tumblr.com/

GROUND BREAKING STRIKE SHUTS DOWN UNIVERSITY, PROTESTS ROYAL VISIT

– Princess Anne to visit University amid protests by students and staff
– Outsourced staff fighting “David and Goliath” battle

Central buildings at the University of London are to be closed to the public today in the first official strike by outsourced staff in the university’s 170 year history.

Today’s strike comes on the University of London annual Foundation Day, attended by HRH Princess Anne. Students and striking staff have called a demonstration which is expected to disrupt the Princess’s visit, and call attention to the strikers’ demands.

The University of London, the umbrella institution for over 100,000 students in the capital, has announced that members of the public – including students intending to use the libraries – will not be allowed in to the buildings today.

The caterers, cleaners, security and porters are demanding the same working conditions as in-house employees.

Negotiations at ACAS on Friday morning fell through after the employers failed to make any concessions to the trade union.

Sonia Chura, Vice-Chair of the IWGB trade union branch, said:
“We want justice from our employers. Without a pension, how can we feel safe about our future? Without proper sick pay, we’re forced to come into work sick.
“It isn’t humane.”

Daniel Cooper, Vice-President of the University of London Union, said:
“With zero-hour contracts on the rise across the country, this is one of the few places where outsourced workers are fighting back. On one side is one of the biggest universities in the world – on the other, a few hundred low-paid workers most of whom don’t speak English.

“It’s a real David and Goliath story.”

The strike is part of the ‘3 Cosas Campaign’ – meaning ‘3 Things’ in Spanish, the first language of the majority of low-paid workers at the University. The demands are for sick pay, holidays and pensions in line with those received by in house staff. The strike will be continuing until Thursday at 3pm.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

– The picket line will be at Senate House, next to Russell Square at 6am-1pm on Wednesday, and 6am-3pm on Thursday.

– The protest will also be taking place at 6pm, again at Senate House.

– For photographs and interviews contact:
Email: 3cosascampaign@gmail.com
Tel: 07771783094 / 07840136728
Twitter: @3cosascampaign
http://3cosas.tumblr.com/

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