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Yesterday cleaners, students and activists from the IWW demonstrated outside LSE, in protest at the ill treatment of the university’s cleaners.
Right now LSE is planning to cut cleaners hours. Since there are no plans to cut the amount of mess that needs to be cleaned up, this will mean cleaners working more intensely for less pay.
Perhaps the most amusing moment arose when LSE’s facilities manager appeared outside the offices and was caught smirking at the demonstration. Against his wishes, he was coaxed into coming to speak to the demonstrators face to face.
“Why don’t you cut your own hours sir and save them a bit of dignity”. Well quite.
Arianna Tassinari, co-president of SOAS students union – which has campaigned succesfully on similar matters – addressed the demo, emphasising that the fundamental issue was outsourcing, with profit-oriented companies inevitably seeking to ramp up the level of exploitation in order to enhance the bottom line.
All in all, a confident, noisy and inconvenient demo at the doors of LSE – just as all protests against super-exploitation ought to be.
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