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South Africa: Justice for UJ Cleaners

category southern africa | workplace struggles | non-anarchist press author Friday August 08, 2014 21:17author by Persistent Solidarity Forum - PSF Report this post to the editors

Support the UJ cleaners’ struggle for transformation, an end to victimisation and discrimination and for a living wage!

For workers at universities, transformation must improve working conditions, raise wages, defend dignity and allow their full participation in governance of these institutions. Outsourcing and the privatisation of services such as cleaning at universities is against transformation because these measures lower labour standards and create a highly unjust system for workers at these institutions. This perpetuates the legacy of colonialism and apartheid.

Like cleaners in other universities, cleaners at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) – organised under the Persistent Solidarity Forum (PSF) – are in a protracted struggle to secure the rights promised in the Constitution, shape the transformation agenda of the institution and reverse outsourcing of cleaning services and other so-called non-core services.

As a result of this struggle the UJ management has revealed that there is a huge discrepancy between what UJ pays Elite Cleaning Company and what workers earn. Having access to the contracts between UJ and Elite, Impact and PractiClean is an important step to take the struggle for justice and a living wage for UJ cleaners forward.

We therefore demand that the University, Elite, Impact and PractiClean take urgent and tangible steps to address our main grievances and demands as follows:

1. We demand that the contracts between Elite, Impact and PractiClean and the University of Johannesburg be made public.
2. We demand to be paid a living wage of R10 000 a month. We cannot survive on R2 600 a month. Especially given the high cost of living and the very huge gap between what we earn and what UJ senior management earns.
3. We demand decent working conditions. All victimisation, unfair treatment, discrimination, disrespect, work overload and mismanagement must end. We want to be motivated and happy as we carry out work that is necessary, useful and contributes to the successful operation of UJ.
4. We demand that the University intervene by instructing Elite management to reinstate the unfairly dismissed shop stewards back into their old posts at UJ campus because it is clear their only sin was representing workers as duly elected shop stewards.
5. We demand an end to the discrimination and victimisation of all immigrant workers regardless of where they come from. An injury to one is an injury to all.
6. We demand an end to outsourcing, we want to be employed directly by UJ. We do not work at Elite, Impact or PractiClean, we work at UJ. Many problems would be solved if Elite, Impact and PractiClean were removed from the picture.

We are resolved to compel the University Management and Elite, Impact and PractiClean to meet our demands. Persistent Solidarity Forum invites workers, students and academics to support our struggle by attending a demonstration this Friday. This is a just struggle. No victimisation and intimidation will stop us. We demand a living wage and improved working conditions.

Support the UJ cleaners’ struggle for transformation, an end to victimisation and discrimination and for a living wage!

When: Friday 15 August from 12:00 to 13:00
Where: UJ APK Campus Gate 1A (demonstration will move to Gate 1 to deliver memorandum to a member of UJ management)

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