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Outsourced workers at prestigious university vote unanimously in favour of strike action

OUTSOURCED workers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have unanimously voted in favour of strike action over poverty pay, their union announced today.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) launched a campaign in April to end the pay gap that pays the majority migrant and black workers below the lowest grade of the university-wide pay scale.

It comes only months after a damning report revealed ingrained structural racism at the prestigious university college at academic staff and student level. 

The union also says that members have been blacklisted after the university suspended four workers for their involvement in a peaceful protest in late April as part of the pay campaign.

Three of them have now been given written disciplinary warnings and the fourth, and two others, face disciplinary action over trade union activities.

Although the IWGB represents the majority of this workforce, the college is refusing to recognise or negotiate with the union.

Cleaners and security staff are demanding pay starting at £14.38 an hour, the same grade as many maintenance staff with similar responsibilities.

Cleaner Betty Leon said: “I am a mother and I am raising two children and I need to be able to support them.

“We are demanding pay that is equal to colleagues with similar responsibilities and allows us and our families to live with dignity.”

IWGB general secretary Henry Chango Lopez said: “Though LSHTM has tried to divide these workers with its campaign of victimisation, they remain unbowed.

“If LSHTM continues to ignore its workers, they will strike and fight for the equality and respect they deserve.”

Strike dates have yet to be announced by the union.

The college have been approached for comment.

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