KCL management allegedly threatened student activists with suspension for handing out leaflets
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Cleaning staff at King's College London have been protesting outside graduation ceremonies. The KCL Justice for Cleaners (
JfC) campaign has been in dispute with the university's senior management for the past two years. They are calling for an end to the outsourcing of the university's cleaning operations, claiming that staff employed by Servest (which holds the current cleaning contract with KCL) are not offered the same employment rights as in-house staff.
The demonstrations outside the Barbican Centre are the latest in a series of escalations of this long dispute - cleaning staff also protested at the KCL Guy's Campus open day on 8 July, and students supporting their cause occupied the James Clerk Maxwell Building on KCL's Waterloo Campus for nine days during the UCU strike over pension reforms in March.
Graduates and academics alike have attended the demonstration to show solidarity with cleaning staff.
Hundreds of academics signed a letter supporting the group's cause in the spring, and the group says that more and more students are rallying to support its cause.
During the graduation ceremonies, students and academics alike were pictured wearing badges supporting the campaign's demands.
Despite KCL's senior management, including Principal Edward Byrne, promising to begin a review process that could bring KCL cleaning staff in-house once the contract with Servest ends, the campaign has accused management staff of continuing to "to show no practical action or intention of ending outsourcing and bringing the cleaners in-house.
Speaking exclusively to The National Student, Justice for Cleaners said that the institution's 'persistent reluctance' to address the issue of outsourcing was both 'undeniable and frustrating.'
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