london diary

August 2018

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my london diary

Council cleaners demand a living wage

Kensington Town Hall, London. Tue 7 Aug 2018

 UVW members and supporters along with the cleaners who have been on strike in the courtyard of Kensington Council offices

 Class War arrive to support the UVW

 and talk to Petros Elia of the UVW


 UVW and Class War supporters go into the Council Offices where a planning committee meeting is about to start

 Petros talks to Ian Bone of Class War

 As the meeting starts, Petros gets up and starts to talk about the cleaners and the dispute


 and people get out banners, 'Justice For WOrkers'

 and 'Dignity' and the 'United Voices of the World' banners

 The committee members listen in silence as Petros speaks



 'Justice for Workers'


 Cllr Quentin Marshall who is chairing the meeting asks the protesters to leave. When they don't he adjourns the meeting

 and most of the councillors walk out, while people who have come to take part in the planning meeting tell the

 UVW that while they sympathise with the cleaners and their case for a living wage, they would like to be able to

 get on with the meeting. One man tells the protesters they are right to protest in the meeting

 and the one councillor on the planning committee who has not walked out gives his support


 Petros speaks again

 and so do some of the other protesters




 A woman gets up and identifies herself as Councillor Catherine Faulks one of the council cabinet. She promises

 that she will come to talk to the cleaners on the picket line on the following morning, and bring as many other

 councillors as she can to talk with the cleaners about their claim. Petros says the problem is that the council

 haven't been prepared to talk to the cleaners at all. Cllr Faulks repeats her offer


 and eventually the UVW decide to take her at her word

 and agree to leave to that the planning committee can continue with their work


 Outside Petros tells the cleaners that councillors will come and talk with them on the following morning


 and they are pleased to hear that some progress has been made

 and pose for a photograph with the supporters on the steps



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