On Wednesday 14 November 2012, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) announced their intention to ballot IWW unionised John Lewis cleaning staff for industrial action. The outsourced cleaners work at four different John Lewis sites in London and are employed by cleaning contractor Integrated Cleaning Management (ICM). This announcement follows a previous press release on Monday 12 November, in which IWW lodged a fresh pay dispute on behalf the IWW unionised cleaners at John Lewis. Attached campaign press releases can be downloaded at the bottom of this article.
Today, Wednesday 14th November, the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW)  have notified cleaning company Integrated Cleaning Management (ICM) of the intention to ballot cleaners at four John Lewis sites for industrial action in the current pay dispute.
IWW notified the company Monday  of a pay dispute and invited the company to resolve this by agreeing to the workers objectives by 5pm Tuesday.
ICM were unable to meet this deadline and this has triggered today’s announcement.
IWW National Secretary Frank Syratt said:
“What our members are asking for is not only reasonable and realistic, but is absolutely necessary for them, their families and for the fight against poverty pay. IWW reps will meet with ICM on Friday 16th November with a real hope to resolve this dispute. However, if a resolution cannot be found, we will ballot our members for industrial action”.
In the run up to Christmas and January sales, John Lewis can expect to see profits spike, bringing in millions in revenues. Meanwhile, our members working in their buildings are earning minimum wage of just £6.19 per hour.
Budget cuts have seen their workloads increase, leading to stress, sickness and depression. But with no sick pay, they have to carry on regardless. Meanwhile, poverty pay means home life is a daily struggle.
Following extensive attempts by the workers to improve their situation, their union IWW entered a new pay claim with ICM on 26th October. Clear, realistic and reasonable, not to mention necessary, the pay claim aims at an immediate and backdated increase to £6.72 per hour for cleaners, £8 per hour for supervisors , plus a timetable of discussions aimed at securing full London Living Wage of £8.55  and full sick pay.
Contact: south[at]iww.org.uk for more information.
1. IWW is an independent industrial union, organising workers in all industries. Please see www.iww.org.uk for more information.
2. For details of the trade dispute, please see the press release of Monday 12th November, which can be found attached to this article, as well as at http://iww.org.uk/node/814 and on Libcom.org at http://libcom.org/blog/iww-cleaners-john-lewis-new-pay-dispute-12112012
3. IWW cleaner members, employed by ICM and working at John Lewis Oxford Street took strike action in August 2012 demanding a Living Wage and an end to hours cuts. They stopped hours cuts and won an increase from £6.08 per hour to £6.72 per hour. Photographs of the previous strike at Oxford Street are available from Peter Marshall at http://www.demotix.com/users/peter-marshall/profile
4. The new London Living Wage rate of £8.55 (£7.45 outside London) was announced last week by Mayor Boris Johnson during Living Wage week hosted by the Living Wage Foundation and KPMG. In the same week it was announced that 5 million workers (1 in 5) in the UK do not earn a Living Wage, the minimum amount necessary to live properly on.