Statement from Steve Sweeney, Regional Organiser GMB, about CONEL cleaners dispute:
Cleaners at CoNEL have won an important victory in their fight against 23% cuts to their working time and for the London Living Wage. The cleaners, who are contracted to Ocean have been in dispute over the cuts and have organised a series of demonstrations and lobbies, receiving the backing of sister trade unions, the local community, local Councillors and David Lammy, MP for Tottenham.
In a meeting at the College on Friday 6th December, GMB representatives were informed that the cuts were no longer going to be imposed and there will be a stipulation from CoNEL that the London Living Wage will be paid on all new tenders. This is a significant step forward and the workers are rightly pleased with the results so far.
GMB Regional Organiser, Steve Sweeney said ‘This is an important victory for the CoNEL cleaners and it is right that we celebrate that. When the cuts were announced, the management at Ocean said that there was nothing that could be done. They underestimated the resolve of those cleaners who organised, joined a union and fought back. The cleaning staff have shown that when you fight you can win. The savage cuts to their terms and conditions have been stopped, however the issue of being paid the London Living Wage remains. GMB are campaigning for the London Living Wage as a minimum for all, to allow workers to live in dignity in the capital. The cleaning staff at CoNEL have led a determined fight and have inspired others who are being exploited and receiving poverty pay instead of a living wage’.
GMB are pressing contractors Ocean for talks on implementing the London Living Wage.