Sunday, December 10, 2006

Justice for Cleaners!

AS most Londoners are rushing around frantically for the season of overspend, over-indulgence, and debts, a group of people intend sitting outside one of the UK's richest banks and going without food for several days. Starting tomorrow, Monday, December 11, the group of cleaners from the TGWU Justice for Cleaners campaign will be there to demand a fair deal. Their dignified protest will draw attention to the contrast between the huge profits and bonuses enjoyed by the City finance sector and the low pay of those providing essential services.

The cleaners have signed the following pledge, and more are joining:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Support the RBS Fast. We are five cleaners working in the City of London and Canary Wharf.For 16 months we have been part of the struggle for a living wage for cleaners across the capital.
Cleaners work so hard but for very little in return; often no sick pay and no basic holiday pay and many companies will not work with the cleaners and our Union to help us overcome this poverty.

This week one of the major banks cleaned by our brothers and sisters
-RBS – announced £9 Billion in profits. They can afford to treat their cleaners with dignity but do not. And they employ a contract
cleaning company, Lancaster who has refused to recognize our Union or work with us to achieve a living wage for cleaners. Now we have had enough. After much thought we have decided that next week we will fast for justice. We will refuse food starting Monday morning to draw attention to the plight of London cleaners.

In a few weeks time it will be Christmas, a time for families and celebration. But not for us and those we care for. City bosses may be celebrating billions of pounds in bonuses but we will be struggling to make ends meet.

Next week we will fast and we will continue to highlight the banks and some cleaning companies refusal accept their duty to their
employees. We are proud to fight for justice for cleaners. We are
certain our fight is a just one. We are fully prepared to fast for
justice for allcleaners. This has been a long struggle. Thank you for
your support – we hope thatwe can count on your continued backing as we take this measure.

Thank you, -The Fast for Justice will start on Monday 11th
with a public act at 1pm. The same evening there will be other events to be confirmed. We hope to follow a similar schedule every day: afternoon high profile event, followed by a more grassroots social evening from 5pm. The fast will be reviewed on Wednesday
evening, but the campaign will continue in any case.

The exact location is under negotiation, but will be somewhere
on Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street Station. We welcome supporters at any time, and we are actively looking for help with battery powered film projections, poetry, pantomime, accoustic music, and other activities to keep spirits. Festival style tat is also needed: rugs, chairs, environmentally-killing patio heaters, etc. Just make sure to ckeck first with organisers, it's not a dump and we will have limited space with all the private zones!

We welcome people from all political backgrounds, but there is a
ban on trying to sell leftie newspapers to the cleaners. You are welcome to leave a couple of copies for the temporary library.

Anyone -- green, red, black, or city worker type-- endangering potentially vulnerable migrant cleaners with their behaviour will be swiftly dealt with (nonviolently of course ;-).Come along!

The contents, comments and views contained or expressed within this correspondence do not necessarily reflect those of the T&G, its subsidiaries, affiliates or associates.If you want to know more about the T&G, visit us at or contact our head office on 0207 611 2500.



At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Emm Erich said...

Hi, Charlie -
a google search for the lyrics to "Joe Hill" took me to your blog. Thanks for the lyrics, thanks for representing what I consider to be among "the best of socialist values" or, possibly, "old labour".

I'm a female Austrian of your generation.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Charlie Pottins said...

Thanks Emm, it's always good to hear from readers, especially in other countries, and thanks for the compliment!
We of our genration must be a very good vintage!


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