Academics back strike by King’s College cleaners

Cleaners set to strike as private employer plans to axe hours and jobs

Cleaners at King’s College London are set to strike on Thursday and Friday this week in protest at cutbacks, after 98% of workers balloted voted in favour of industrial action.

More than 50 academics at King’s, which is ranked among the top universities in the world, have signed a letter in support of their colleagues, protesting at how the cleaners are being treated.

The strike action follows a long-running dispute with contractor Servest over its plans to reduce working hours and cut jobs. There are also concerns around ongoing staff shortages and increased workloads.

Servest informed all cleaners working at the university of the changes in November 2016. Staff either face a reduction in the hours they work or redundancy.

UNISON London regional organiser Colin Inniss said: “Strike action is always a last resort but cleaning staff at King’s deserve so much better.

“They are all dedicated to their jobs but this contactor has not treated them with dignity and respect. It’s no wonder they feel frustrated and undervalued.

“This action is the only way to bring the employer back to the negotiating table.”