The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) staged two days of industrial action on 28th and 29th November 2013 with a picket line forming outside the Senate House, University of London, Russell Square entrance.
The University of London, like many large organisations, outsource some of their roles to external contractors, which can lead to a differing and often better set of working conditions for those working for the original organisation versus the ones provided to those working for the contractors.
This dispute centres around that issue together with the fact that Balfour Beatty and the University of London refuse to recognise the union.
“We demand that we be entitled to the same sick pay, holidays, and pensions as our colleagues who work directly for the university,” said Sonia Chura, Vice-Chair of the London Branch of IWGB.
“As our benefits are structured now, we are financially constrained to come into work sick, have a difficult time visiting our families who are often in far away countries, and will retire into poverty.”
On 29th November it was announced that some progress had been made with concessions towards sick pay, annual leave and pension rights for all Balfour Beatty Workplace employees. Talks continue to finalise the agreements and the IWGB confirm that they will continue their struggle to become a recognised union.
No comment from Balfour Beatty or the University of London was available.