The Marxist society at KCL just carried the following resolution unanimously, and took a photo showing our support. Every society should do the same ?!

KCL Marx Soc resolution: Justice for KCL Cleaners!

The KCL Marxist Society notes:

  • King’s College London cleaning staff are employed by the contractor Servest, under whom they receive lower wages, less favourable working conditions and reduced paid holiday compared to in-house members of staff.
  • Last year, a Unison-led strike repelled attempted redundancies and pay cuts by Servest.
  • Following this victory, cleaners are mobilising a campaign, modelled on successful struggles in LSE and SOAS, to fight for reforms to their working lives ‒ starting with the demand to be brought in-house.

The Society believes:

  • Conditions for cleaners at King’s College London are unacceptable. They experience unsociable hours, are forced to carry the workload of up to three people while still not being given the minimum national living wage of £9.75 an hour, receive inadequate materials and endure disrespect.
  • The College’s senior management is better-paid than Theresa May’s cabinet, its Principal earns £452,000 per year, and it just committed to a multi-million-pound contract on a grade II listed building (Bush House). It could easily afford to bring cleaners in house and pay them decently.
  • All College staff deserve fair pay, decent treatment and reasonable working conditions. It is incumbent on students and academic staff to fight alongside the cleaners to achieve these objectives. The conditions of our cleaning staff shame the university.
  • The mass casualisation of the academic workforce is evidence of a crisis of capitalism that has robbed the workforce of meaningful employment, and oppresses and exploits migrant workers particularly harshly. Only socialism can bring an end to this situation, and place society and the economy under the democratic control of the working class.
  • We stand for a worker-and-student run university: with no bosses, managers or parasitical employers.

The Society demands:

  • That King’s College London agree to the following:
    1) Bring the cleaners in house, giving them contractual parity with directly-employed staff regarding:
    a. Sick pay
    b. Holidays
    c. Pensions
    d. Maternity and paternity leave
    2) Provide equal opportunities for overtime ‒ allocation of extra hours ‒ and recruitment to new vacancies.
    3) Formally recognise the cleaners’ UNISON representation.

The Society resolves:

  • To fully support the cleaners in pursuit of these goals ‒ they have our full solidarity.
  • To be present on demonstrations, protests, strikes and any other form of action.
  • To provide assistance to the cleaners’ campaign in any capacity they see fit.
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